April 16, 2008— -- The testimony of the federal government's star witness in the trial of indicted political fixer Tony Rezko appears to contradict Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's past statements that he does not recall meeting Iraqi-born billionaire, Nadhmi Auchi.
Obama's name resurfaced this week after Chicago businessman Stuart Levine testified that Obama and his wife Michelle attended an April 2004 reception in honor of Auchi at Rezko's house.
Levine pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired with Rezko to defraud the state of millions of dollars in kickback schemes.
The Obama campaign has maintained that Obama had no recollection of meeting Auchi "at any time or occasion," but today a Chicago Sun Times columnist reports that a source claims Obama had not only attended the April 2004 event but also "made a few toasts."
Auchi was convicted in 2003 of fraud charges in France and was reportedly barred from re-entry into the United States in 2005. Auchi is appealing the French conviction, and his sentence was suspened pending the appeal.
His lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times that Auchi did not recall meeting Obama.