Contact: Emanuel spoke with Blago “on multiple occasions” about Senate seat

posted at 7:57 am on December 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The attempt by President-elect Barack Obama to distance himself from the scandal erupting in Illinois took a big hit last night with this exclusive report from Chicago’s Fox affiliate. Sources within the investigation say that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, spoke with Governor Rod Blagojevich on “multiple occasions” about the Senate succession that Blagojevich had wanted to sell to the highest bidder — and that Emanuel will likely be on the FBI wiretaps:

On the surface, this makes sense. The notion that Obama and his team had nothing to say about the Senate appointment and had no contact whatsoever with Blagojevich was ridiculous. Emanuel, with his ties to Illinois politics and his status as Obama’s right-hand man, would make the most likely candidate to handle those negotiations.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Emanuel knew about Blagojevich’s efforts to extort payment for the selection, but it puts a damper on the idea that Emanuel tipped off the feds, too.  It wouldn’t take “multiple” meetings for Emanuel to decide to squeal.  If Emanuel continued meeting with Blagojevich, that indicates some kind of negotiating was happening, and that would strongly suggest that Emanuel was working on Blagojevich’s terms.

It’s still possible that Emanuel was working with the feds, but why stay silent about it now?  They’ve already arrested Blagojevich.  Emanuel could now say, “I helped Patrick Fitzgerald when I saw something wrong and worked with them to get him to make explicit statements,” rather than spend this week ducking reporters.  The “sources within the investigation” would hardly want to make a cooperating witness look bad, either. Emanuel has been acting like someone advised him to keep quiet to keep from making incriminating public statements, and this may be the reason why.

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Tom, me think your missing the forest cuz of the trees.

“suggests at some point Team Obama had enough of Blagojevich’s “antics.””

Tom, this “suggest” team Obama knew Blago was engaging in “antics”, specifically trying to sell a Senate seat.

“What we know is that at least in the beginning, Team Obama wasn’t willing to play ball with Blagojevich”

Tom, if Team Obama wasn’t willing to play ball with Blago “suggest” Team Obama knew the game Blago wanted to play? Yes?

“What we don’t know is if after Blagojevich’s rant on the 10th”

Tom, in the court of public opinion, after Blagos rant with team Obama on the 10th why didn’t Team Obama on the 11th drop the dime on Blago and make Blagos “game” known to EVERYONE?

Do you honestly think that if Team Obama called the Times on the 11th, and said/gave the Story about what Blago was trying to do that the times wouldn’t have printed it?

If Team Obama had been the ones to inform on Blago wouldn’t Fitzgerald have made that known, thus removing ANY CLOUD OF DOUBT about Obama and his involvement?

“That’s the worst case scenario, one in which no crime was likely committed.”

Tom, under your worst scenario Obama, Team Obama didn’t think Blago selling a US Senate seat, 1 of 100, was important enough to raise a flag, make a phone call, anything. They didn’t think it was out of the norm or unusual.
That’s the problem for Obama his JUDGMENT.

DSchoen on December 12, 2008 at 9:35 PM

“It wouldn’t take “multiple” meetings for Emanuel to decide to squeal. .

Why not? I don’t follow the logic here.
Grow Fins”

Why not?

Well for starters I would think Emanuel would know that “selling” a Senate seat is unethical if not illegal.

In fact cuz Blago was arrested I think we can safely assume “selling” a Senate seat is in fact illegal.

At best you can use the David Cash excuse assuming Blago is Jeremy Strohmeyer.

However do you really want a “David Cash” in the President admin?

DSchoen on December 12, 2008 at 11:19 PM

“Emanuel spoke with Blago “on multiple occasions” about Senate seat.” Well, isn’t that special!
This thing just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser…and he’s not even POTUS yet. Mind-boggling.

Christine on December 13, 2008 at 6:43 PM

Wait a minute… Obama said only a few days ago that there had been “no contact” between him or his staff and Blago on this subject!

Are you saying that Obama lied?

drunyan8315 on December 15, 2008 at 1:23 AM

So what is going on here? The last two times I’ve been on site my comments on your articles up top don’t appear (although they say they have been received), but they do appear on your long articles below.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 22, 2014 at 2:27 PM