Newly unsealed court documents shed light on the sprawling federal investigation into former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, as attorneys for his longtime chief of staff reveal new details about his involvement in the probe.
Attorneys for Tim Mapes, who was indicted last May on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice after federal prosecutors alleged he lied to a grand jury, filed three new motions last week. One of those - a motion to dismiss portions of the perjury charge against him - was filed under seal but unsealed on Wednesday.
In indicting Madigan in March, federal prosecutors summed up his iron grip on power in Illinois as a "criminal enterprise," facilitated in part by former state lawmaker-turned-lobbyist Michael McClain, one of the speaker's closest confidants who investigators say played the role of intermediary between Madigan and those he sought to direct on a day-to-day basis.
Like many federal cases, the investigation was built from the edges toward Madigan, its ultimate target.
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The motion unsealed this week reveals Mapes was questioned by the FBI during an interview "over coffee" back in 2019. Mapes was eventually offered immunity as he testified before a federal grand jury on March 31, 2021 - accused in the indictment less than two months later of lying during that testimony.
The motion says Mapes was asked more than 650 questions during that grand jury appearance and that out of those, prosecutors picked seven where they said he lied, specifically about McClain's role in Madigan's organization.
In some of those conversations, the FBI was listening: while former 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis is known to have worn a wire in the investigation, the latest filing references other recordings between Mapes and McClain, whose phone was reportedly tapped by the FBI.
In one of the other filings, Mapes' attorneys note that their own efforts were clouded by the fact that McClain often talked "mysteriously, cryptically, and oddly," particularly when discussing the powerful speaker.
Mapes served as Madigan's chief of staff for decades before he was ousted in 2018 after an employee of the legislature accused him of bullying and harassment. His trial has been set for next January.