Shortly after election to the Senate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., bought a $1.65 million house with the help of an Illinois man now under indictment for bribes and kickbacks. Antoin “Tony” Rezko bought an adjacent lot from the same seller when Obama purchased his home under market value, a move Obama now calls a “bone-headed mistake.”
Obama’s Connection With an Accused Political Fixer Raises Questions
In sharp contrast to his tough talk about ethics reform in government, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., approached a well-known Illinois political fixer under active federal investigation, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, for “advice” as he sought to find a way to buy a house shortly after being elected to the United States Senate.
The parcel included an adjacent lot which Obama told the Chicago Tribune he could not afford because “it was already a stretch to buy the house.”
On the same day Obama closed on his house, Rezko’s wife bought the adjacent empty lot, meeting the condition of the seller who wanted to sell both properties at the same time.
Rezko had been widely reported to be under investigation by the U.S. attorney and the FBI at the time Obama contacted him and has since been indicted on corruption charges by a federal grand jury in a case that prosecutors say involves bribes, kickbacks and “efforts to illegally obtain millions of dollars.”