December 16, 2008

"If you read these transcripts closely, you’ll find that nobody did anything. People are just talking, and that’s not against the law."

"Bad language doesn’t make you a criminal."

Says Edward Genson, representing Governor Blagojevich. It's true, of course, that "just talking," even in "bad language," is not a crime. Nevertheless, crimes can be committed through statements. But it's smart of Genson to get the meme going that all Blago did was talk, and talking alone is nothing, and bad words are indeed bad, but let's not be distracted -- it was all only words.

50 comments:

Skyler said...

I'm pretty sure even politicians can commit inchoate crimes.

Do Illinois ethics rules allow lawyers to make patently false statements meant to inject public opinion into a judicial action?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Bad language doesn’t make you a criminal."

Well saying 'bring em on' makes you a war criminal.

Paul Ciotti said...

If merely talking about something illegal is not a crime, how come I keep reading about these right wing guys who make threats against the president? Sometimes it's just a stupid bigmouth beer belly in his boxer shorts shooting his mouth off on his internet connection and the next time you read about him a judge just gave him five years.

Also I thought conspiracy was a crime, even in the absence of doing anything to carry out the plot. (I once heard it was a felony to conspire to commit a misdemeanor). If Blagojevich is conspiring over the phone to commit extortion, is that a crime?

dualdiagnosis said...

"Don't tell me that words don't matter,.. 'I have a dream'- just words?"

Michael_H said...

Why should we believe Edward Genson? He's just talking.

EDH said...

Do they have the actual solicitation of a bribe on tape, or just Blago discussing/planning/ordering/recounting such a solicitation?

siyeh pass said...

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle. Razzle dazzle 'em.

The Drill SGT said...

Also I thought conspiracy was a crime, even in the absence of doing anything to carry out the plot. (I once heard it was a felony to conspire to commit a misdemeanor).

as I understand it, a criminal conspiracy charge normally requires an overt act of some kind. Meaning, for example, a conspiracy to commit murder or terrorism, would not require that the murder take place, but that a meeting had occurred in the furtherance of the future crime.

Sofa King said...

That depends...does the State of Illinois qualify as a "corrupt organization" under RICO?

Lem said...

I hate to say this but ....

I told you so.

David said...

Hey, ok, if it's not a crime, we will find that out from the jury.

In the meantime, impeach the sob.

David said...

"Do Illinois ethics rules allow lawyers to make patently false statements meant to inject public opinion into a judicial action?"

What do you suppose Illinois ethics rules say about press conferences by prosecutors?

Even Blago deserves a vigorous defense.

Lem said...

Dont get me wrong, Blago deserves to go.

But it appears that Fitzgerald did not get enough of a chance to get the goods.

The Chicago Tribune went ahead and saved Blago's ass.

BJM said...

it was all only words.

That's nonsense, speaking and/or writing (just words) about committing a crime with others does not hinge on the crime occurring to be an illegal act, nor does soliciting an illegal act.

Madigan and cohorts laid the groundwork for a Mad Hatter defense; now Genson adds bad taste and words. The Chicago corruption train's clown caboose may be about to careen off the tracks.

Entertainment-wise, I'm hoping Blogo goes with a full-blown Vinnie "The Chin" Giganti defense.

reader_iam said...

Some of Blagojevich's words from his Gubernatorial Announcement Speech.:

...
I believe Illinois can once again be the land of opportunity, but only if we are willing to shake up a system in Springfield that accepts corruption, mediocrity and failure.
...
A governor must be willing to take on the special interests, not carry their water; that means launching a sustained and unceasing effort to create opportunity for all of Illinois; it means shaking up a system that serves itself instead of the people.
...
I believe we must never accept mediocrity or corruption.
...

Words, words, words.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I heard that Fitzgerald wanted to draw out the investigation longer, but the Tribune went to press, short-circuiting his attempt at getting even more crimes recorded and really angering him.

Wonder who the Tribune was protecting....

Danny said...

Sounds like a great defense for Bin Laden, once we catch him.

"Sir, I never did anything. I was 'just talking,' and that's not against the law."

Lem said...

This is brilliant example of why we cant have the gitmo detainees in our efing courts!!!

But noooooo, you people want Obama to close down gitmo. close down gitmo. close down gitmo

ok come down lem...

all they did was talk about blowing us up!

Florida said...

"Bad language doesn’t make you a criminal."

Say "f_ck you" in a courtroom to a judge and see if bad language doesn't make you a criminal. (A lawyer recently got 6 months for just such an event.)

Planning a crime with co-conspirators, and only calling off the crime once you find out that you're being taped, is indeed a crime, as the Democrats will soon find out.

Blago called off the crime once he found out he was being bugged. He'll plead out eventually, once he can make the best deal for himself.

halojones-fan said...

Thomas Beckett would disagree with the idea that "just talking" never harmed anyone.

ricpic said...

BLAGO (into phone)
So we gotta do something about the fucking Trib and its fucking editorials.
BLAGO'S WIFE
Hold up that fucking Cubs shit! Fuck them!
BLAGO
Honey, shut the fuck up. (then, into phone) You hear what she said? Block them from selling Wrigley Field.

Rob said...

"Fire!" Theater. Just words?

in Springpatch said...

The complaint only covers the last few months. The US Attorney's office has been on this case for years. Are people that gullible that they think Blago just decided in October to become a corrupt politician? I think the Chicago Tribune forced Fitzgerald hand but I expect there will be plenty that will come out once the indictment comes down.

SteveR said...

Quick, get him in front of a grand jury, then you'll have a crime. Ask Bill and Lewis.

Meade said...

Lem said...
I hate to say this but ....

Sure you do. You're just saying that.

S said...

The Drill SGT said...

"Meaning, for example, a conspiracy to commit murder or terrorism, would not require that the murder take place, but that a meeting had occurred in the furtherance of the future crime."

All the phone calls were the meeting/s.

garage mahal said...

Karl Rove sez Obama should have been more forthcoming from the beginning in regards to the Blagojevich investigation. Yes, Karl Rove, the same guy on the run from a subpoena.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Since the state of Illinois has deleted from their website a picture of BHO and Blago "conferring", it isn't too hard to figure out what they and the Tribune are trying to protect. Not BHO personally, but simply BHO as their conduit to DC.

Who did Althouse vote for again?

AJ Lynch said...

Rahm Emanuel made about $10-15MM in investment banking world in the 1 or 2 years he was out of govt.

It looks like he will have to spend some of that on defense attorneys. What a shame huh!

AJ Lynch said...

Must be an awfully slow process server if Rove can outrun him.

scotaku said...

"Just talking." Sure - and there's a part of me that wonders what kind of sentences they'll be looking at in the future.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Illinois government: a continuing criminal conspiracy....

darrell said...

Perjury is just talking.

Uttering death threats is just talking.

Saying, "I approve the bugging of Larry O'Brien's telephone at the Watergate" is just talking. So is saying, "I never approved the break-in at the Watergate."

Obstruction of justice often involves just talking. So does bribery, blackmail, and extortion.

Offering somebody a Senate seat for money is just talking.

What a fucking moron.

garage mahal said...

Calling Obama a terrorist and a criminal is just talking.

mccullough said...

Ed Genson hasn't gotten an acquittal for a client in federal court for 10 years.

His recent clients include Conrad Black, who's in prison, and Larry Warner, George Ryan's co-defendant, who is in prison.

If Blago were smart, he's not, he would take a plea, rat out anyone he can, serve 18 mos. in prison, and save himself $2 million in wasted legal fees.

Lem said...

Fitzgeral better have something,...

I hate to be teased like that.

section9 said...

Uh oh, sounds like Blago has the goods on a lot of Outfit Guys.

Now, back in the day, Blago would either retire or end up as part of a building foundation somewhere. Or, in the Chicago River. Blago, however, appears to need this paycheck real bad, so he's decided to do this thing and ride it out.

Great News for the Illinois Republican Party, btw, a party so hapless that they couldn't beat Himmler in a contest for mayor of Jerusalem.

Now that the D's are in power and we're all about to learn a new term, "political economy" (where you have to go to a Democratic pol and pay the graft to get anything done in this country-that's where this is headed), we get to let the D's wallow in their own "culture of corruption". That is, if the MSM calls them on it.

Oh wait, they're Democrats. Nevermind.

Peg C. said...

And this from the party for which not only words but THOUGHTS are crimes (Hate Crimes, anyone?). JEEZ. What idiots.

The Drill SGT said...

garage mahal said...
Calling Obama a terrorist and a criminal is just talking.


I don't think anybody called him a terrorist, almost nobody thinks he's a criminal.

Many of us think he's been terminally stupid on the handling of this thus far. We don't know if he's been lying, but his actions thus far have only deepened and lengthened his ultimate problems with this story.

If the media weren't on his side, it would be much worse already. As it is, the media seem to be rediscovering their professional persona after having been smitten with Obama love sickness for the last 24 months. If that happens, Obama is in for an unpleasant surprise.

Good Lieutenant said...

Guess we should let Scooter Libby off the hook, then.

After all, his crime was only one of words.

Tibore said...

""Bad language doesn’t make you a criminal.""

Somebody tell Scorsese and Tarantino that.

:D

... sorry, couldn't resist.

Trooper York said...

Tell that to Sean Avery. Talking got him fired and cut from the team.

garage mahal said...

Many of us think he's been terminally stupid on the handling of this thus far. We don't know if he's been lying, but his actions thus far have only deepened and lengthened his ultimate problems with this story.

Actually, I didn't know he had a problem. Did I miss something?

peter hoh said...

I wonder if those guys caught up in Dateline's "To Catch A Predator" could use this defense. They don't get to do anything more than talk, and talking isn't against the law.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just words and everybody's talking

reader_iam said...

In addition to, not instead of, DBQ's: Talk to me.

reader_iam said...

Well, crap. Most of the follow-ons aren't available (or are no longer available) via YouTube (though they are in my personal music collection). What an annoyance!--and pity. So it goes.

Thanks for the inspiration, DBQ. I'm enjoying the results privately, anyway.

reader_iam said...

I'm hatin', and rapidly hatin' on, the new YouTube orgo, on top of my just previous complaint, btw. (Like that matters: I know it doesn't.)

Gary Rosen said...

"couldn't beat Himmler in a contest for mayor of Jerusalem"

Might be closer than you think, Heinie's got the Arab vote locked up.

Tatter said...

When left-wingers do it, it's "just talking." When right-wingers do it, it's "criminal conspiracy."

Learn what the real difference is, folks.