Patrick Fitzgerald took on political corruption, international terrorism and corporate fraud as an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Manhattan, U.S. attorney of the Northern District of Illinois and while serving as a special prosecutor. Some of his key cases:
FORMER ILLINOIS GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH
In June 2011, Blagojevich was found guilty on 18 counts, including charges that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. Fitzgerald brushed off heavy criticism after jurors deadlocked on all but one relatively minor charge during Blagojevich's first corruption trial in Chicago, choosing to hold a second trial and winning a 14-year prison sentence for the ex-governor.
FORMER ILLINOIS GOV. GEORGE RYAN
Blagojevich's predecessor as governor is serving the tail end of a 6 1/2-year sentence in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. At his six-month trial in 2006, Ryan was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI when he was secretary of state and later governor from 1999 to 2003.
I. LEWIS "SCOOTER" LIBBY
Former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was convicted in March 2007 of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI during the investigation into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Former President George W. Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence.
Also known as the "Blind Sheikh," the Egyptian-born Abdel-Rahman was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel and other key sites around New York City. He was sentenced to life in prison.
BOMBINGS OF US EMBASSIES IN KENYA, TANZANIA
Fitzgerald brought charges that Osama bin Laden and 22 of his followers conspired to murder Americans and were responsible for the August 1998 bombing of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa. Four defendants went to trial and are serving life in prison.
The former media mogul, whose empire once included the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London and The Jerusalem Post, was convicted in 2007 of defrauding investors. He served three years in prison.
The former Chicago police lieutenant was convicted in 2010 of lying about the torture of suspects in police custody. Dozens of people — almost all of them black men — claimed for decades that Burge and his officers tortured them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder. Burge was sentenced to 4 1/2 years behind bars.
The former top fundraiser for Blagojevich was convicted in 2008 of fraud, money laundering and plotting to squeeze more than $7 million from companies seeking to do state business during Blagojevich's tenure. A federal judge sentenced Rezko to 10 1/2 years in prison, minus time served.