Rezko says prosecutors pressured him to implicate Obama Daniel Nasaw in Washington guardian.co.uk, Friday June 13 2008 Tony Rezko, the Chicago political money man and early supporter of Barack Obama, told a federal judge that prosecutors in his corruption case pressured him to implicate the Illinois senator. The real-estate developer and fast-food magnate was convicted in federal court last week of 16 corruption charges. His association with Obama dogged the senator throughout the primary campaign, and the Republican party has said it will draw attention to their ties as he faces off against John McCain in November. In a letter to Judge Amy St Eve filed with the court earlier this week, Rezko protests his innocence and faults "overzealous" prosecutors. "They are pressuring me to tell them the 'wrong' things that I supposedly know about [Illinois] governor [Rod] Blagojevich and Senator Obama," he wrote. "I have never been party to any wrongdoing that involved the governor or the senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes." Obama was never implicated in Rezko's case, was never accused of wrongdoing and never testified at the trial. Last week, Rezko was convicted of using political clout to orchestrate a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme. He faces sentencing in September. Rezko was one of Obama's early political backers. The two first met in 1990 when Obama made news after his election as the first black president of the Harvard law review. Rezko offered him a job, which he turned down. In the 1990s, Rezko worked on a low-income housing development with a non-profit group that Obama's law firm represented. The two remained friendly, by Obama's own admission dining together once or twice a year. In 2005, shortly after Obama won election to the US Senate, he and Rezko bought adjacent property on the same day from the same seller. Rezko then sold a sliver of his property to Obama, so Obama could build a fence separating the lots. Rezko was indicted in October 2006. The Obama campaign has since sought to distance itself from him, and returned $150,000 in contributions linked to him. When Rezko was convicted, the Republican party leapt at the opportunity to remind the public of their past ties. The Republican party established a website, RezkoJudgment.com, that highlights "Barack Obama's 20-year relationship with now-convicted felon Tony Rezko".