Fitzgerald: Blagojevich engaged in “a political corruption crime spree”; Update: What did Team Obama know? Update: Did Rahm sink Blago?

posted at 1:45 pm on December 9, 2008 by Allahpundit

“A truly new low,” he calls it, and after eight minutes of dramatic readings you won’t disagree. The absolute lowlight? Blago trying to shake down a children’s hospital for a $50,000 kickback in exchange for $8 million in state funding. Nice guy, lovely family.

Said an FBI agent of Illinois at the presser, “If it isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor.” Indeed: George Ryan, Blagojevich’s predecessor, is also in prison, and only three of the last seven governors have managed to escape indictment. They’re long overdue for a reform candidate, but who could they get? They’d need someone from the area, preferably with a national profile, whose reputation for putting law and order above partisan politics is impeccable. Anyone you know fit the bill?

Update: The good news for The One? There’s no evidence that he or his team did anything improper. The bad news? There’ll have to be some investigating now to make sure. Tapper:

The (allegedly) corrupt Governor was sure that PEBO would NOT participate in Blago’s alleged sale of PEBO’s Senate seat by providing something of worth to Blago in exchange for his naming PEBO’s presumably first choice for the seat, friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett.

How did he know that? With whom on the Obama Team was Blago talking? How was the refusal to “pay or play” conveyed? Did that person then report Blago to the authorities?

And Michael Scherer at Time:

That’s the reason that the fall of Gov. Rod Blagojevich is going to continue to haunt Obama, not to mention Chicago’s Democratic establishment where he built his roots. The President of the United States has a higher burden than just about any elected official anywhere. His staff will be called on by the press to account for all their conversations with Blagojevich and his aides. Obama will have to explain what he knew about these discussions. The bit players in the indictment, like the unnamed Senate Candidate 1 and Senate Candidate 5, will have to come forward and explain their involvement. If the investigation continues into next year, which seems likely, there may even be calls for the appointment of something like an independent counsel at the Justice Department to avoid any hint of political interference. Obama’s staff and political allies may be forced to get attorneys of their own.

Update: Dick Durbin evidently wants a special election to fill the seat, to obviate the incredible awkwardness that would come with Blago potentiall appointing Obama’s successor from a jail cell.

Update: Did Rahm pull the plug?

We did receive a tip this morning that perhaps all of this came together so quickly because the Governor may have reached out to Rahm Emanuel, the president-elect’s chief of staff, in attempting to leverage filling the Senate seat. And it may have been Rahm Emanuel who tipped the scale and made this move as quickly as it did.

That would jibe with Ben Smith’s theory earlier, that Blago’s attempts to sell the seat to Obama and Valerie Jarrett became far too brazen for comfort.


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**“It’s beginning to look alot like FITZ-MIS”

RobCon on December 9, 2008 at 3:36 PM**

Just not the one that all those foolish libs have always prayed for!

Schaudenfraude, it’s a healthy thing as it gives us on the right side something to smile about in these bleak times.

Webrider on December 9, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Tapper:
The (allegedly) corrupt Governor was sure that PEBO would NOT participate in Blago’s alleged sale of PEBO’s Senate seat by providing something of worth to Blago in exchange for his naming PEBO’s presumably first choice for the seat, friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett.
How did he know that? With whom on the Obama Team was Blago talking? How was the refusal to “pay or play” conveyed? Did that person then report Blago to the authorities?

More from Tapper after Obama’s statement this afternoon. He doesn’t seem ready to take Obama at his word that he had no contact with the gov or her office.

meltenn on December 9, 2008 at 4:06 PM

That was supposed to be: gov or her his office

meltenn on December 9, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Don’t hold yer breth waiting for Obama to squirm. He’s frigggin bullet proof. And I’m betting on a quick plea from Blago and silencio.

JAW on December 9, 2008 at 4:18 PM

Merry Fitzmas, Governor Blago!

If Fitz can keep pushing this really quickly, and get Tony and Blago singing, maybe he can bring down the One by January 20. The ACORNs don’t fall far from the tree in C(r)ook County.

Steve Z on December 9, 2008 at 4:28 PM

Ah, now I understand it. The Clintons figured it out. Obama gets seated, Joe Biden has an aneurysm (not sure how you do that without a brain), Pelosi gets scragged by Cindy Sheehan, and voila, Hillary is President! Of course, we’ll have to wait until after the 20th. for the plan to come together. I guess I better go buy another case of popcorn for my microwave.

Webrider on December 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM

Got this from a buddy who used to live in Chicagah:

There is a debate in my office today re: What is a bad Illinois politician? My thought (native bias) is that it is one who gets caught. My colleague suggests it is one who crosses the line of honest graft.

It is hard to understand why anyone would want to be governor of Illinois, since most end up in prison. In Idaho, we’re trying to find money to renovate the Governor’s residence. In Illinois they are considering building a governor’s penitentiary.

Come to think of it, it could be one of BHO’s public works projects.

Bruno Strozek on December 9, 2008 at 4:34 PM

What’s up with the ads within the RSS posts? It’s bad enough that we can’t view the entire post in the feed. We click through to the site where we see the ads.

iamse7en on December 9, 2008 at 5:23 PM

All I have to say is, if there is nothing there then leave it alone. Don’t want to repeat the Clinton Derangement Syndrom and transfer it to the current clinton administration. Oh sorry, the one’s administration. Wouldn’t be suprised if Blago ended up on a park bench with a gun in the wrong hand.

lwssdd on December 9, 2008 at 6:29 PM

And 63 millions voting turds couldn’t see any of this likely scenario? Oh yes the media is partly to blame, including the papers Blago tried to shake down. But, they were so in the tank for Barry the passes were given out faster than they could be printed. The picture of Cook County, Illinois politics, Chicago thuggery has always been clear. Now what will Pelosio do with her culture of corruption?

wepeople on December 9, 2008 at 7:08 PM

I think that pretty boy Blago will talk, and be singing BHO tunes. I don’t see anyway that obama gets out this unhurt. And as things continue to do him for the next 4 years, it is going to put a drain on him and his administration

ConservativePartyNow on December 10, 2008 at 12:22 AM

BHO has Patrick Fitzgerald rumaging through his skeleton-filled closet. I hope Fitzgerald hurls those bones into the bright light of day.
I found this to be interesting. Could be BS or not. You decide.
http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/12/rahm-and-blago-discussed-bribe.html

infidelgranny on December 10, 2008 at 9:21 AM

infidelgranny on December 10, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Comment pages: 1 2