Ward Room
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Obama Didn't Know About Blago Shakedown: Judge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Judge James Zagel says there is nothing in FBI reports suggesting that President-elect Barack Obama was aware of alleged shakedown attempts surrounding his seat in the U.S. Senate.

    Defense lawyers asked for access to the reports to determine if Obama had reported the alleged crimes. 

    But Zagel, who has read the documents known as 302 reports, says there is nothing there.

    "There's an assumption that the president-elect was aware of the 'asks'. There's nothing to support that he was aware," Zagel said. 

    "The planned victim of an attempted crime does not need to be aware that an attempt was made," Zagel said. As an example, he cited a failed attempt at robbing a bank, noting that the teller might be unaware that a robbery was ever contemplated.

    "The government is not alleging that any victim, at least in this part, was aware."