‘Suspiciously timed’: Eyebrows raise when Feds raid office of Chicago lawyer–who once worked with Trump

Federal agents raided the Chicago office of a lawyer who once worked on President Donald Trump’s property taxes.

The agents arrived unannounced at the  City Hall office of Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke Thursday, kicking out anyone who was inside and placing brown paper over the windows and doors, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Federal agents reportedly did the same at Burke’s ward office.

Burke’s law firm of Klafter & Burke had worked with Trump’s companies for a dozen years to reduce property taxes on his Chicago skyscraper, saving more than $14 million, according to The Hill. The two reportedly went their separate ways earlier this year with Burke citing “irreconcilable differences.”

The raid on Burke’s Chicago office came as Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to making false statements to Congress.

A triple punch of perceived negative news seemed to delight the left, despite the fact that Cohen’s plea is already looking like another nothing-burger.

Though it was not yet clear what agents were doing at Burke’s offices, the Chicago Sun Times noted the Democratic alderman of the 14th Ward “has dodged dozens of federal investigations over five decades in Chicago politics.”

According to the Sun Times:

About 15 agents had arrived at City Hall about 7:30 a.m., bringing their own boxes. Some then went across the street to the underground parking garage at the Daley Center to find Burke’s car, but it wasn’t there.

Federal agents also showed up to Burke’s ward office and papered over the windows there. A group of them left about 1:10 p.m., nothing in hand, but others remained inside.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment. Calls to the FBI office in Chicago and the IRS criminal investigations division were not immediately returned.

A reporter knocked on the City Hall office door Thursday morning; the man who answered, who was not a member of Burke’s office staff, had no comment.

 

Burke’s brother, state Rep. Dan Burke, was reportedly “stunned” by the news, telling the Sun Times, “It’s shocking. I don’t know what to think.”

“I don’t have a clue. Any time there is this type of thing, where they come in and paper your windows, certainly that’s a concern,” the lawmaker said from his state capitol office in Springfield. “But I know my brother. For his entire life and career he’s been abiding by the law.”

Howard Brookins, the alderman of the 21st Ward, was swarmed by reporters as he arrived at the office.

Brookins, also a Democrat, said he had “no idea” why federal agents had visited and called Burke a “great friend.”

Reporters waited outside the office to get any information on Burke who has held office since 1969 and was running for a record 14th term.

Gregory Pratt, City Hall reporter for the Chicago Tribune, reported later Thursday that agents left carrying what appeared to be computers and that the paper was being taken down.

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Frieda Powers

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