The Campaign Spot

Why Is the FBI Asking About Obama’s Home Purchase?

Mickey Kaus puts together two interesting items.

Item One, in today’s Washington Post:

A footnote to the 76-page criminal complaint and affidavit charging Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) with soliciting bribes confirms what has long been rumored — that a former longtime friend and fundraiser for President-elect Barack Obama is talking to federal prosecutors in hopes of a reduced sentence.
Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s offer to provide authorities with evidence of others’ wrongdoing is “not complete,” and prosecutors are working to corroborate the claims he has made so far, the footnote said.

Item Two, in the Washington Times on Election Day:

A former Illinois real estate specialist says FBI agents have questioned him about a Chicago property that had been bought by convicted felon Tony Rezko’s wife and later sold to the couple’s next-door neighbor, Sen. Barack Obama.
The real estate specialist, Kenneth J. Conner, said bank officials replaced an appraisal review he prepared on the property and FBI agents were investigating in late 2007 whether the Rezko-Obama deal was proper.
“Agents and I talked about payoff, bribe, kickback for a long time, though it took them only a short number of minutes of talking with me while looking at the appraisal to acknowledge what they already seemed to know: The Rezko lot was grossly overvalued,” Mr. Conner told The Washington Times Monday.
“Rezko paid the asking price on the same day Obama paid $300,000 less than the asking price to the same seller for his adjacent mansion,” he said. “This begs the question of payoff, bribe, kickback.”

Maybe absolutely nothing will come of this. Recall the number of times people thought the Whitewater investigation was on the verge of a huge revelation that would shake the Clinton presidency to its foundation. Federal prosecutors may or may not have an interest in bringing charges against the President-elect.

But Obama’s strange reticence about this matter might seem a little more sensible in light of these stories . . .

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