Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Um, Not So Fast

It seemed that a lot of people were saying last week that the wheels were falling off of the Government's case against Gov. Ryan. I would suggest that anybody who underestimates Patrick Fitzgerald and his team is making a big mistake. I'm not saying that this thing is a lock by any stretch of the imagination, but these guys are really quite good.

Yesterday, the prosecution put their skills back on display. Probably the most damning tidbit was this:

In an aggressive "re-direct examination," Collins got Fawell to say Ryan personally told him to initiate state leases and contracts that would benefit the politician's friends. Ryan allegedly steered the business to his cronies, including his co-defendant, lobbyist Larry Warner of Chicago, in exchange for cash, trips and gifts during his 1991-99 tenure as secretary of state.

"As a factual matter, (Ryan) did in fact get into the nitty-gritty on these things we talked about?" Collins asked Fawell.

"Yeah," Fawell answered.

That's the type of stuff that is easily digested by a jury. Ryan lawyer Dan Webb is a phenomenal attorney, but it's hard to imagine that Fitzgerald would have brought this case unless he felt very confident about its outcome.

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