Obama and Nadhmi Auchi

Discussion in 'Congress' started by jreeves, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was again drawn into Tony Rezko's corruption trial on Monday, when the prosecution's star witness placed Obama at a party for an Iraqi-born billionaire who was later barred entry to the United States.

    Stuart Levine testified under cross-examination that Obama and his wife, Michelle, attended the April 3, 2004, reception for Nadhmi Auchi.

    Auchi -- who lives in London -- had been convicted of fraud in France in 2003. After visiting Chicago and Detroit in 2004, he wasn't allowed back into this country in 2005, according to a prosecution filing in the Rezko case.
    The April 3, 2004, gathering for Auchi took place at Rezko's mansion in Wilmette, with about 100 people attending, Levine testified.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Obama were there, were they not?" Rezko's lawyer, Joseph Duffy, asked.

    "Yes, sir," Levine said
    .

    Later Monday, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said: "As he has said previously, Senator Obama does not recall meeting Nadhmi Auchi at any time or on any occasion, and this includes any event that may have been held for Mr. Auchi. Senator and Mrs. Obama have no recollection of attending any such event."

    But according to two sources familiar with the gathering, the Obamas attended the Wilmette reception, which came less than a month after Obama's Democratic primary win for his U.S. Senate seat. Rezko had been a key fund-raiser for Obama, who has since given to charity nearly $160,000 in Rezko-linked contributions.

    Levine testified he was invited to the reception after meeting with Rezko and his family days earlier, during a spring vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

    Auchi couldn't be reached Monday. His lawyer, Alasdair Pepper, told the Sun-Times in February his client "has no recollection of meeting Senator Obama." Auchi is appealing his French conviction. His 15-month sentence is suspended as long as he commits no new crimes. He is not accused of wrongdoing involving Rezko.

    Obama is not accused of any wrongdoing. But his relationship with Rezko -- who is accused of demanding kickbacks from people seeking Illinois government business -- is under a microscope as he seeks the presidency. Obama particularly has drawn fire for buying property from Rezko's wife -- a strip of land adjacent to Obama's Kenwood home -- at a time Rezko was already known to be under federal investigation.

    Levine testified Rezko had to leave Mexico early to host Auchi. So Levine chartered a private jet to fly Rezko's wife and children -- as well as his own family -- back to Chicago on April 3, 2004.

    That night, Levine testified, he attended the reception, which was arranged to interest Auchi in investing in Illinois.
    Gov. Blagojevich hosted a separate dinner party for Auchi two days earlier, at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Chicago, the Sun-Times has reported.

    Auchi was named by prosecutors in the January court filing that led to Rezko's bail being revoked and his being jailed. Last April, an Auchi company wired Rezko $3.5 million in connection with a valuable 62-acre South Loop site, which Rezko didn't disclose to authorities. Auchi's General Mediterranean Holding now controls the land at Roosevelt and Clark.

    Prosecutors said Rezko appealed to the State Department in November 2005 to allow Auchi to enter the United States, after Auchi was unable to do so.
    Obama's name in Rezko trial :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Tony Rezko

    Obama was at a dinner party with Auchi, in which Auchi was 'investing in Illinois'.:eusa_whistle:
     
  2. Larkinn
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    Larkinn Senior Member

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    *yawn*
     
  3. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Of course, this wouldn't bother you, it wasn't meant for you.
     

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