A powerful Chicago Democrat politician has been caught on tape boasting about “owning a judge,” according to reports.
Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (D) will soon face trial on multiple federal bribery and extortion charges.
Jason Meisner, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, said:
“Judge Robert Dow has ruled against Ald. Edward Burke and his co-defendants in a slew of pretrial motions seeking to suppress evidence and toss certain charges.
“This 194-page ruling means Burke’s case could finally be heading to trial, more than three years after he was indicted.
“Judge Dow has said trial likely would come next year.
“Dow’s opinion discusses some wiretap conversations that were previously redacted, including one where Burke talks to Daniel Solis about Amtrak board member Jeff Moreland: ‘We made his daughter a judge here, in Cook County’ Burke says. ‘…Jeff can be helpful.’
“The judge says in his ruling that Burke’s ‘largely go to the strength of the evidence, not the sufficiency of the indictment and wiretap application.’
“It will be up to the jury to assess whether the government has proven the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, he says.
“Judge Dow also denied attempts by Burke’s lawyers to bar comments he made on wiretaps about Jewish lawyers, saying the relevance of the evidence ‘outweighs Ald. Burke’s risk of embarrassment..”
Dow's opinion discusses some wiretap conversations that were previously redacted, including one where Burke talks to Daniel Solis about Amtrak board member Jeff Moreland:
"We made his daughter a judge here, in Cook County” Burke says. “…Jeff can be helpful.”
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) June 6, 2022
According to The Chicago Tribune: “Burke, 77, was originally charged in a criminal complaint in January 2019.
“He was indicted four months later on 14 counts including racketeering, federal program bribery, attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and using interstate commerce to facilitate an unlawful activity.
“The 59-page indictment outlined a series of schemes in which Burke allegedly tried to muscle developers into hiring his law firm, Klafter & Burke, to appeal their property taxes.
“Among the projects Burke tried to capitalize on was the massive $800 million renovation of the post office in the West Loop, according to the charges.
“Also charged was Burke’s longtime aide, Peter Andrews, who was accused of assisting the alderman in attempting to shake down two businessmen seeking to renovate a Burger King restaurant in the 14th Ward.”
Judge Dow writes in his opinion that Burke was caught telling "the Old Post Office owners that he believed he could influence the Amtrak executive because he had helped make the executive's relative a judge." pic.twitter.com/Dfr7gqUSDg
— Jon Seidel (@SeidelContent) June 6, 2022
CWBChicago, a media outlet that covers public safety issues from Chicago’s North Side, explained the sinister nature of Burke’s comments:
“Just a little reminder that Ed Burke was responsible for slating Cook County judicial candidates for years and years and years.
“Surely, they were all the finest, fairest legal minds available.”
….Yeah. Nothing to worry about.https://t.co/5o0hEucJxS
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) June 6, 2022