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EDITORIAL: FBI raid on Ald. Burke offices more about the Chicago Way than Trump

People believed to be federal agents remove computer equipment and document boxes from the South Side office of Ald. Ed Burke on Thursday. | Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

We can understand why so many people suspect the FBI’s Thursday raid on the offices of Ald. Edward M. Burke was tied to the Justice Department’s investigation of President Donald Trump.

After all, the powerful 14th Ward alderman was Trump’s lead lawyer for years in challenging property-tax assessments for his downtown skyscraper, Trump Tower Chicago, and Cook County’s property tax system is widely believed to favor the rich.

But trust us. It ain’t that.


When we look a little more closely, it’s abundantly clear the feds aren’t looking into Burke because of Trump. At least not for now.


• The investigation is being handled by the public corruption squad of the Chicago FBI office, not by investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

• Federal agents raided both Burke’s City Hall office and his ward office, indicating the investigation involves a city government deal. Had they been interested in Trump’s relationship with Burke, they would have hit up Burke’s law office, where attorneys who handled property taxes for Trump Tower Chicago most likely keep their records.

Sun-Times reporting so far indicates there’s no presence of Trump in the Burke probe. “A source told the Sun-Times the raids were in response to new allegations, and not prompted by any past controversies that have swirled around Burke,” our main story reads. “That means, for now, the investigation isn’t focused on Burke’s property-tax-appeal work for President Donald Trump, or Burke’s oversight of a city workers’ compensation fund, among other matters.”

Nobody can say where this might lead.

But, for now, we’re thinking this is more a Chicago Way kind of thing.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com.


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