Blago-Rahma: Emanuel had direct contacts with Blago on Senate opening

posted at 8:37 am on December 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Ten days after Rod Blagojevich’s arrest on corruption charges, Rahm Emanuel’s sudden aversion to the press and cameras continues — and the Chicago Sun-Times may have the reason for his sudden allergy.  Sources tell Natasha Korecki that Emanuel had direct contact with the disgraced governor to discuss the replacement of Barack Obama in the Senate.  That would contradict claims that the incoming president’s Chief of Staff only had contact on a staff level with Governor Blagojevich (via Instapundit):

President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.

Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.

A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post.

But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.

Note how Korecki describes her sources.  They have “knowledge of the conversations,” but later in the article, the sources say that the conversations “likely” got caught on the wiretaps.  That doesn’t sound like Korecki talked with people from the investigation, but more like people on Blagojevich’s end.  They would know about the contacts but wouldn’t be sure what got recorded by the feds.

Could Blagojevich and his legal team be sending a message to Barack Obama?  Take me down, and some of your team will go with me. It sounds like the Chicago way, a strategy that Blagojevich might employ. Who would know the dirt better than Blagojevich?  Unfortunately, Obama can’t do much to call off the dogs now even if he wanted to do so, thanks to the very public action taken against Blagojevich ten days ago by Patrick Fitzgerald.

For Emanuel and Obama, this once again strongly suggests that the incoming administration has not yet been fully truthful about the extent of their knowledge of Blagojevich’s corruption.  After all, no one expected Obama and Emanuel to have no interest in Obama’s replacement, and Emanuel could have said right from the start that he had spoken with Blagojevich to discuss the various options — and that he either heard nothing about pay-for-play demands or that he notified the feds when he did.  Instead, Emanuel has apparently discovered Dick Cheney’s undisclosed location for the holidays and Team Obama has to keep refining its denials.

Something fishy is going on here, and Emanuel acts like he has something to hide.


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Duh !

singlemalt_18 on December 19, 2008 at 8:39 AM

**pointing finger, banging podium, looking directly into the camera** “Ah did NOT have contact with that woman office”

Whoopsie!

Alden Pyle on December 19, 2008 at 8:41 AM

It’s ok, nothing to see, because Democrats embrace their corruption and don’t want to be hypocrites.

Just turning their infantile arguments against them re: republicans/family values.

They just love corruption.

benrand on December 19, 2008 at 8:43 AM

The emperor’s new clothes thing with the press is nauseating. And the Rodney King “give this guy a chance” thing is worse.

singlemalt_18 on December 19, 2008 at 8:43 AM

I would expect Dear Leader to make known his choice for his replacement to Blago. Even a direct conversation between the two wouldn’t trouble me. Heck, even some sort of sotto voce quid pro quo would be fine. That’s just politics.

So why the silence and downplaying? There must be some very interesting conversations on those tapes. I hope they don’t end up with an 18 & 1/2 minute gap.

rbj on December 19, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Don’t forget to bite your lower lip, Alden

Mr. Bingley on December 19, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Could Blagojevich and his legal team be sending a message to Barack Obama? Take me down, and some of your team will go with me.

The idiot messiah is about to run the bus over the first person with anti-tire spikes sticking out of him, and a bad attitude.

progressoverpeace on December 19, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Blagojevich tried to shake down Team Obama, and team Obama failed to report it, opting to try to twist Blago’s arm in private instead.

forest on December 19, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Demorats, corruption, mob thuggery, using the IRS to destroy opposition; we watched this for (8) long years and here we go again. Just look at what is coming down the pipe in a few weeks. How can we allow this?

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

NOW that Bill Clinton has re leased the list of his 205,000 donors who have given close to $500 million to his library and foundation, it is clear why he resisted releasing the list while his wife was running for president.

Now, compelled by the Obama transition team to make it public as a condition of his wife’s appointment as secretary of state, it becomes clear that the list is a virtual encyclopedia of conflicts of interest for the husband of a senator – to say nothing of the husband of an incoming secretary of state.

Particularly troubling are the massive donations from Arab governments in the Middle East.

Pardon us for looking such generous gift horses in the mouth, but it is hard to imagine so many governments, monarchs and businessmen in the Middle East giving money unless it was with some hope of a political return. Will that return now come with the appointment of Sen. Clinton as secretary of state?

How can Hillary Rodham Clinton mediate and negotiate conflicts in the Middle East impartially when her husband’s library and foundation – over which he has total control – have been bankrolled by the very nations with whom she must negotiate?

The list reveals another key center of conflicts of interest in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet republic, now home to some of the world’s greatest mineral deposits and ruled by a corrupt dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who, according to The New York Times, has all but quashed political dissent.

Bill Clinton visited Kazakhstan and met with its president on Sept. 6, 2005, accompanied by Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra.

Soon after, Giustra was awarded a highly lucrative contract to mine uranium there. Now, lo and behold, Frank Giustra turns up having given the library and foundation between $10 million and $25 million and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative of Canada gave $1 million to $5 million more.

And Clinton got $1 million to $5 million from Lakshmi Mittal, the fourth-wealthiest person on the Forbes billionaire list and a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan.

In addition, Clinton further fished in troubled waters by taking $1 million to $5 million from Victor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of the controversial former president of the Ukraine.

Given the complexities of US policy toward the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, it is hard to see how this massive and incestuous relationship cannot but complicate Hillary’s independence.

One of the largest donors to the library and foundation was UNITAID, an international organization largely controlled by France, which donated more than $25 million. And the conflicts of interest are not all just foreign. Corporate bailout recipients and recipient wannabes donated to the Clinton fund. They include AIG, Lehman, Merrill, the Citi Foundation and General Motors.

And, almost as an afterthought, the list reveals a donation of at least $250,000 from Denise Rich, presumably in return for her ex-husband’s presidential pardon.

How could a US senator possibly serve dispassionately while her husband was collecting money from these donors on this kind of scale? And how could we have almost elected a president without realizing these conflicts existed? And how on earth can a secretary of state function with these conflicts hanging over her head?

Keemo on December 19, 2008 at 8:52 AM

Not really on subject. It’s snowing, sleeting and raining all at the same time in Chicago right now. The roads are somewhat impassible at the moment, there are lots of accidents. The authorities are asking people to stay home. The only thing on the news (all the stations) is weather related. This is probably the best thing to happen to Blago in a week and a half.

Tommy_G on December 19, 2008 at 8:53 AM

BlagObamaRahma…sounds like a rap tune. Thugs know thugs.

sheriff246 on December 19, 2008 at 8:54 AM

The leaks are from OBAMA not Blago. This is what the Clintons did. They would slowly leak somewhat innocuous news so the public could adjust to the “that’s no big deal” so that the full impact never hits.
Putting the pieces together in a single news release is much more harmful to Obama/Rahm.

MMover on December 19, 2008 at 8:54 AM

So … when are we going to hear about Rahm’s counter-offers? There’s no question that he would have tried to work something out, before becoming exasperated at the intransigence of Blago (if that happened), so it must be on some tape, somewhere. I mean, this is Rahm’s reputation, that the Dems were so proud about just a few weeks ago. The idea that he would just reject an offer and leave really stretches credulity.

progressoverpeace on December 19, 2008 at 8:55 AM

Blago is arranging for his Presidential pardon.

“Release me in the future or I will show everyone where the bodies are buried.”

Bishop on December 19, 2008 at 8:56 AM

Rahmbo the pit bull is acting like a scared kitten. I wonder why…

jgapinoy on December 19, 2008 at 8:57 AM

The idiot messiah is about to run the bus over the first person with anti-tire spikes sticking out of him, and a bad attitude.

progressoverpeace on December 19, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Blagsy is at least as ruthless as Bambi and his organization is more secure since he has familiarity with his players on a larger scale than Me$$iah has DoJ under his thumb….

be intersting to see who blinks.

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 9:02 AM

More on the corruption that defines a Democrat…

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122964897338520479.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Keemo on December 19, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Blago to Obama: “You want me to keep quiet? That will be a million f**kin’ bucks.”

Red State Update: Blagojevich Has Dirt On Obama?

Too f**kin’ funny!

BrianA on December 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Bush is bailing out the Big Three right now. That’ll get that off the front page in a day or two. After that, all eyes will turn to this fiasco.

Let’s see if the press hounds Obama in Hawaii. I don’t think he’s going to get a vacation from this.

I think Rahm’s going to get sacrificed at the altar of Obama. They’re probably just trying to find a place where Rahm can make a soft landing. They must consider some of those union positions that Blago was proposing.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Blagojevich tried to shake down Team Obama, and team Obama failed to report it, opting to try to twist Blago’s arm in private instead.

forest on December 19, 2008 at 8:50 AM

I think that this is the most likely situation. Obama was a politician in Chicago and was in the middle of the corruption. Either he is Chauncy Gardener and is really that dense or he knows exactly how the Combine work and developed “selective amnesia” about what he knows. I think that the latter is probably the most likely option. Emanuel definitely knew that Blago was trying to sell the Senate seat and Obama more than likely knew as well. Obama didn’t play with Blago, but it does look like he did his usual see no evil, hear no evil routine. I’m not sure that this is illegal, but it does make Mr Hope! and Change! riding in on a white horse look very dirty and unethical.

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:15 AM

as i have said several times, rahm still has his cong. seat. he has not resigned that, has he? if not, there is where he will land. if he has resigned, then they will find a big-paying union-organization job for him.

kelley in virginia on December 19, 2008 at 9:18 AM

and of course blago has dirt on obama.

kelley in virginia on December 19, 2008 at 9:20 AM

hell, we all have dirt on obama for all the good it did/does us.

kelley in virginia on December 19, 2008 at 9:20 AM

I’m not sure that this is illegal, but it does make Mr Hope! and Change! riding in on a white horse look very dirty and unethical.

So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?”

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Why can’t Dan Rather’s crack staff find some memos to clear up this whole misunderstanding?

Mark30339 on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

BlagObamaRahma…sounds like a rap tune. Thugs know breed thugs.

sheriff246 on December 19, 2008 at 8:54 AM

The “Chicago” stench just won’t wash out by just changing addresses.

Rovin on December 19, 2008 at 9:27 AM

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Good luck my dear Mr. Shipley….your side was cheering sending a man to prison for not having a perfect memory regarding outing a non-secret secret agent….

b*tch being held to your own standards eh?

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 9:27 AM

For Emanuel and Obama, this once again strongly suggests that the incoming administration has not yet been fully truthful about the extent of their knowledge of Blagojevich’s corruption.

Ed, that is probably the nicest way you could put that. I think most everyone now knows this goes all the way to the top.

Vashta.Nerada on December 19, 2008 at 9:32 AM

mr shipley: i think this latest chicago corruption scheme will find many of bambi’s supporters & friends knee-deep in fraud, graft & illegalities. you might think bambi is the 2d coming, but be prepared for some of the dust to settle on him.

kelley in virginia on December 19, 2008 at 9:32 AM

b*tch being held to your own standards eh?

I’m fine and actually having fun watching the continuous parade of there’s something fishy going on here posts. I’ve presented many times (with evidence to back it up) why I’m not very worried that this will legally or politically affect Obama or his staff much in the end.

I don’t think Rahm will have to go. It’s still a possibility, if he were to have made counter offers, but I don’t think with Blago being radioactive even prior to his arrest that they would have done such a thing.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Rahm was a good soldier and made sure that Barack’s fingerprints were not on the negotiations. Plus the Rahm deal fell through for lack of up-front payments, as he was only authorized to offer future “consideration.”

If that’s good enough for Fitz, then who are we to question the sinless purity of Obama?

econavenger on December 19, 2008 at 9:35 AM

So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?”

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Because once Obama said no, Blago was just going to stop selling the Senate seat to the highest bidder?? Sarcasm off..

Obama and friends knew that Blago would continue to shake down other politicians in Chicago. They knew that the person who would be appointed would be the one who paid the most money. They chose to allow all this filth to continue rather than make a phone call to Fitzgerald and inform him of this situation. A true agent of change would have taken that extra step. The fact that Obama couldn’t have been bothered definitely sullies him.

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Obama and friends knew that Blago would continue to shake down other politicians in Chicago. They knew that the person who would be appointed would be the one who paid the most money. They chose to allow all this filth to continue rather than make a phone call to Fitzgerald and inform him of this situation.

And you know this how?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

“So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?” Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

What you don’t seem to “get straight” Mr. Shipley, is President-elect Obama AND Emanuel could have both said they approached/contacted the governor and did not like the tone/impropriority of the conversation without jeopordizing Fitzgerald’s ongoing investigation. End of story. Appearently, this is NOT the case and Obama and his “team” are only allowing speculation to fester. The silence is almost as damaging, but we’ll give Obama his “week” to get his story straight.

Rovin on December 19, 2008 at 9:37 AM

The silence is almost as damaging, but we’ll give Obama his “week” to get his story straight.

Fitzgerald has confirmed that he asked Obama not talk about his staff’s contact with Blago until next week.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

You proposed that team messiah turning down the offer would make them look clean and Illinidiva gave the story of why them turning down the offer still makes them look sleazy, since they were okay with Blago auctioning the seat off to someone else.

Do you pretend not to understand these things, or do you really not understand?

progressoverpeace on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

This is a picture of the next four years.

Aronne on December 19, 2008 at 9:43 AM

And you know this how?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Unless Obama and his campaign were really daft, they could have easily figured out that case. In fact, Malia and Sasha could have probably jumped to this conclusion.

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

progressoverpeace on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

No, I understand perfectly. Here’s my point. We’re likely to find out what happened all at once.

If it turns out Blago did approach them and they refused to “pay to play”, but didn’t go to the authorities, the greater story will be that they rebuffed Blago’s offers. They would only look “very dirty and unethical” if they had accepted his deal.

If they didn’t go to authorities, they’ll probably take a hit for that, but the overall impression will be they acted ethically.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

My point is, you don’t know if they went to authorities or not. Correct?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

My point is, you don’t know if they went to authorities or not. Correct?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

*If* they went to the Feds, and *if* they have nothing to hide then they’d be doing the $uper Je$$e jr. shuffle and bragging about helping….

best case scenario is Blagsy knows something the ONE doesn’t want out and Bambi is totally clean….likely case is Bambi refused to pay to play but gave his consent through Rom the Space Knyght to Blagsy to do what he could to keep what Blagsy knows from leaking….worst case is Rom refused to pay to play but also directed Blagsy towards someone….

Bambi needing time to get the choir in tune is NOT a clean smelling move.

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

My point is, you don’t know if they went to authorities or not. Correct?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

I think that it is getting quite obvious that they didn’t. Otherwise, it would be quite easy for Obama to put out a statement that Blago discussed the Senate seat with us and tried to set up a quid pro quo. We talked to our legal counsel and he advised us to talk to Fitzgerald about this. It would be a one day story and the MSM would send more time bowing before the altar of the great Obama, the fighter against the Chicago Combine. The fact that he didn’t make that simple statement and has let it get dragged out for weeks suggests that soemthing else is up.

Illinidiva on December 19, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Fitzgerald has confirmed that he asked Obama not talk about his staff’s contact with Blago until next week.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

It’s interesting that Fitz did not ask Obama to avoid the whole process of “story-straightening” to figure out who may have said something on tape so they could come up with an official story.

econavenger on December 19, 2008 at 9:52 AM

I don’t think Rahm will have to go. It’s still a possibility, if he were to have made counter offers, but I don’t think with Blago being radioactive even prior to his arrest that they would have done such a thing.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Depends on Blago — It would be highly unlikely he’d have the goods to touch Obama much, given what we know right now, but Rahm’s desire dating back to 2002 to be a major strategic player both in Chicago and national politics means he’s far more likely to have, if not corrupt hands, than at least associations that will come across as looking far worse than anything Scooter Libby ever did.

Obama needs Emanuel right now to knock heads on Capitol Hill and keep Pelosi and Reid in line, because they’re chomping at the bit to tell Barack and his people what his political agenda should be, even if it goes against the Clintonian triangulation strategy the Obama team apparently is planning to use. But if Blagojevich decides to start offering up all the good deeds Rahm may have done for him in getting him into the governor’s mansion, Obama may have no choice but to call out the bus again (though Emanuel is short enough so that the wheels might miss him).

jon1979 on December 19, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Fitzgerald has confirmed that he asked Obama not talk about his staff’s contact with Blago until next week.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

And President Bush asked the New York Times not to publish stories that supplied our enemies with intell….lot of good that request worked. One has to wonder if Fitzgerald asked Powell and Armitage to not reveal that they were the one’s who outed Plame. Fitzgerald’s problem, IMHO, is the “can of worms” he’s opened has no lid and cannot cover or gloss over the amount of corruption that has followed our President-elect to Washington. Once again, the failures of an obligating media are responsible in part for allowing/promoting a one term senator to the highest office in the land without properly vetting a candidate with questionable relationships to a dark side of politics.

I’m expecting a “wag the dog” in the very near future.

Rovin on December 19, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Smells like a dead fish is stinking up the place. Wonder if Rahmbo has his fork in it.

Done That on December 19, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Man, it would be sooooo great if Blago sings like a canary!

conservnut on December 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Give O’s team the benefit of a doubt they did nothing wrong and you still come up with the fact that O wouldn’t pay Blago for the Senate seat. BUT how did Blago know that O wouldn’t pay?? Because they HAD to have to talked about it that’s why. The least that happened is O’s team covered up corruption by not reporting Blago’s extortion scheme.


Because that’s the Chicago way!

Herb on December 19, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Rahm’s known for his Chicago style street fighting, so it’s a safe bet that he was smack in the middle of Blago deal-making.

Feels good to watch Rahm sweat.

Barak, whether or not you’re innocent, when you lie with dogs you can expect to get up with fleas.

petefrt on December 19, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Fitzgerald has confirmed that he asked Obama not talk about his staff’s contact with Blago until next week.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM

That’s quite a request from a US Attorney to a President-elect, don’t ya think? It’s also startling that a President-elect would oblige.

Essentially, you’re saying a US Attorney has asked Obama not to make a statement (until next week) that would/could clear the mystery around the scandal. And Obama agreed?

Am I missing something here?

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Man, it would be sooooo great if Blago sings like a canary!

conservnut on December 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM

My money is on Harris doing the singing.

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 10:25 AM

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

As long as Obama plays ball and doesn’t throw sand in Fitz’ eyes, he’s not a target of the investigation.

econavenger on December 19, 2008 at 10:29 AM

As long as Obama plays ball and doesn’t throw sand in Fitz’ eyes, he’s not a target of the investigation.

econavenger on December 19, 2008 at 10:29 AM

You’re not suggesting Fitz is somehow extorting or blackmailing Obama, are you?

What, exactly, do you mean?

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Popcorn for everyone!!!

D2Boston on December 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Essentially, you’re saying a US Attorney has asked Obama not to make a statement (until next week) that would/could clear the mystery around the scandal. And Obama agreed?

Am I missing something here?

What would happen if Obama gave all the details of his staff’s contact with Blago, then Fitzgerald said it hindered his ability to prosecute Blago?

You guys would be the first to jump all over him for putting clearing his team ahead of bringing his “buddy” to justice. There’d be your token conspiracy theorists who said he did it on purpose to help get Blago off the hook.

A couple weeks ago, Ed (kind of) complimented the Tribune for holding back on what it knew about the Blago wiretaps at the request of Fitzgerald.

Now, Fitzgerald has made the same request of Obama. Should Obama not be cooperating with Fitzgerald?

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

I don’t know about Hope, but this certainly is a Change from the usual stories about an incoming president. But hey, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation, and we’ll learn it in good time. Or not at all, either one is fine.

Jim Treacher on December 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM

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SEATS COME WITH PACKAGED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO AVOID APPEARENCE OF IMPROPRIETY——(EXPECT ONE TO TWO WEEKS DELAY DEPENDING ON PROSECUTOR’S REQUEST)

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“Good luck Jim, err Rod”

Rovin on December 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Fitz used the “sand in the eyes of the umpire” analogy with the Plame investigation.

In this case he’s already signaled that he doesn’t care about digging deeper into Obama’s possible role in negotiations. He’s also fine with him to getting together with everyone to sing off the same sheet of music.

So therefore he expects that Obama will not throw sand in his eyes and also do as he is told and not release the info until Fitz allows him to.

econavenger on December 19, 2008 at 10:41 AM

What a shock.

Didn’t our sainted President Select assure us that his staff had no contact on this issue?

Therefore, the report has to be a lie.

Case closed.

notagool on December 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

If they didn’t go to authorities, they’ll probably take a hit for that, but the overall impression will be they acted ethically.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

or….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcNnTF_9vCs
if they didn’t go to Fitz and put out this statement that they are “appalled and disappointed” as “anybody”. Doesn’t sound like they were the ones working with the feds on this.

yakwill83 on December 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Something fishy is going on here, and Emanuel acts like he has something to hide.

OOOoooo That Smell

Cantcha Smell That Smell

hillbillyjim on December 19, 2008 at 11:05 AM

So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?”

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Depends on whether one considers 21 “contacts” between the parties a discussion of where the best lunch was each day, or extended negotiations. Extended negoations, in this context, meaning discussions of level of payoff, before efforts were dropped due to the asking price being deemed too high.

I guess we will find out soon.

The “watch” is still on regarding your statement that you are “sure” that nobody on the Obama team would lose a job over this.

Yoop on December 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

What a shock.

Didn’t our sainted President Select assure us that his staff had no contact on this issue?

Therefore, the report has to be a lie.

Case closed.

notagool on December 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Let’s be clear:

First: I had no contact with the Gov. office.

Second: There was no inappropriate contact with the Gov. office.

We are now digesting this: I have been asked not to comment on my campaign’s contact with the Gov. office.

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

The “watch” is still on regarding your statement that you are “sure” that nobody on the Obama team would lose a job over this.

Yoop,

Don’t use quotes unless you are sure I used that word:

What I’ve said that I think happened (to which I will own up to if it turns out not to be true) is that Obama (or someone on his team) didn’t play ball with Blagojevich and pulled Jarrett from consideration once they found out what Blago wanted. This, I think, is pretty clearly backed up by the evidence.

Now, it’s also been shown that Blagojevich wanted to go back and offer to seat another candidate in exchange for some sort of “501″ scheme. Now, since Obama knew Blago was under investigation and had been distancing himself from him since at least August, I don’t think he would pull his #1 candidate only to “play ball” with his second choice. That doesn’t make sense to me. And since Blago shifted attention to Jessie Jr. in early December, it doesn’t seem he didn’t.

If that scenario turns out not to be true, I will come here and post that I was wrong.

Tom_Shipley on December 12, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Let’s not forget that Rahm also is vacating an elected seat (the ubiquitus “fifth CD thing”. It is quite possible that Rahm was working his own deal with Blago over that. The circumstantial evidence that leads me to think this is the statement in the transcript release that says:

On November 13, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he wanted to be able to call “[President-elect Advisor]” and tell President-elect Advisor that “this has nothing to do with anything else we’re working on but the Governor wants to put together a 501(c)(4)” and “can you guys help him. . . raise 10, 15
million.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he wanted “[President-elect Advisor] to get the word today,” and that when “he asks me for the Fifth CD thing I want it to be in his head.” (The reference to the “Fifth CD thing” is believed to relate to a seat in the United States House of Representatives from Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District.

Is Rahm the President Elect Advisor? Was Rahm working on a side deal with Blago for his own seat?

What does “anything else we’re working on” mean?

BobMbx on December 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Road trip; off to California to see my folks…

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to Ed, Allah, Michelle, and the entire HA community! Yes Shipley, that includes you too. No matter what, it’s nice to have a place like this to come and vent, share ideas, and try our best to educate Liberals.

God Bless our Troops!

Keemo on December 19, 2008 at 12:01 PM

The authorities are asking people to stay home. The only thing on the news (all the stations) is weather related. This is probably the best thing to happen to Blago in a week and a half.

Tommy_G on December 19, 2008 at 8:53 AM

And lets not forget about this story that totally knocked Blago off the front pages for a few hours and just keeps on going! I bet the Blago sent Drew a big ole fruit basket for the favor.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,468348,00.html

Now back to the regularly scheduled moonbat Shipley crapola. Are you still getting paid by the One to troll around here, Tom lol?

Knucklehead on December 19, 2008 at 12:05 PM

The One uses the Obami mind trick on the “weak-minded” reporters…

“My staff or I did not have contact with Blago…”

Reporters: Yes, he did not have contact with Blago….

Caper29 on December 19, 2008 at 12:33 PM

And lets not forget about this story that totally knocked Blago off the front pages for a few hours and just keeps on going! I bet the Blago sent Drew a big ole fruit basket for the favor.

Knucklehead on December 19, 2008 at 12:05 PM

This one is probably waaaay more important than anything that’s happening in Chicago right now…

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/19/levi-johnstons-mother-arrested-drug-charges/

Caper29 on December 19, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Remember the predictions of a Chief of Staff frog-marched out of the White House by Patrick Fitzgerald?

They may be come true–they just had the Chief of Staff of the wrong President.

Steve Z on December 19, 2008 at 1:13 PM

I can’t understand why people are talking so much about all of this. Didn’t you see Meet the Press Sunday? You were instructed that the auction of senate seats is HOW THE WORLD WORKS. Also, Mike Barnicle is bored by the story. So can we please continue the search for Trig’s real mother.

snaggletoothie on December 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM

The evidence is piling up that at a minimum Emanuel, if not Obama personally, had direct discussions with Blagojevich. So, back to what may well become Obama’s “did not have sex with that woman” statement:

I had no contact with the governor or his office and, so we were not – I was not aware of what was happening….

Emanuel was acting on his own? Without instruction or authorization? Without reporting results? Discussing status? Revising negotiation tactics? Does a principal acting through his agent not have “contact” with the agent’s correspondent?

So, aside from what Emanuel and Blagojevich (or Harris)spoke about regarding the Senate seat, wouldn’t these questions be relevant: What did Obama say to Emanuel? What did Emanuel say to Obama? When?

How careful should they be in reconstructing those conversations?

Emanuel could well be on tape. If so, what are the chances Emanuel made exculpatory statements about his authority to speak on Obama’s behalf? Would Emanuel’s job be to represent and convey his principal’s authority, or concede that the whole thing was just a nice gesture he, Emanuel had dreamed up?

As Ed Genson has made clear, once indicted, Blagojevich is entitled to review ALL the tape evidence, and not only that which Fitzgerald chooses to release publicly. Thus, at some point Blago may know more, and be able to prove more, about what Emanuel said than Emanuel himself can even recall, let alone prove.

Perhaps we’ll be treated to the first claim of executive privilege by a president-elect.

Barnestormer on December 19, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Take a look at the thread photo. Even if you didn’t know who those two clowns were…if they rang your doorbell, would you unlatch the screen?

whitetop on December 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

What did the president know, and when did he know it?

MarkTheGreat on December 19, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Consider what should be pretty obvious . . . Ed Genson is really blowing smoke about the “illegality” of the tapes, especially when he is trying to extend that claim to the possibility of introducing any of them in the impeachment inquiry.

The impeachment inquiry is essentially a civil action for removal of the Governor from office, and there is simply no suppression rule, or fruit of the poison tree rule known to man that should prevent those tapes, especially the already public portions thereof, from being introduced as evidence at an impeachment inquiry, that is, unless the Illinois legislature foolishly (or deviously) decide to adopt such a rule.

Blago is obviously not considering resigning now because, at least in part, he sees it as a bargaining chip in dealing with the United States Attorney. If Fitzgerald were to negotiate him out of office (and pull some charges), that action would probably be seen as justified by the public, but Blago has the upper hand in the sense that he can continue to tread water by demanding more than Fitz is willing to give. That’s because he knows that Obama does NOT want this to drag on into his term of office! And neither does Fitzgerald. They both are beginning to look a bit powerless under the circumstances. Fitz hasn’t even indicted the guy.

The whole added stink about Rahm Emanuel, and what he and Blago or Blago emissaries may have said to one another, is what has really stalled this entire drama from moving forward.

So, if a Fitz tape were introduced against him as evidence in an impeachment inquiry, Blago, through Genson, would want the right to cross examine, and would use the opportunity to try and pry open other issues and lines if inquiry.

In fact, one would think that one of the last things that Fitzgerald, Obama or Emanuel want to see happen, is for Rahm to be subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment inquiry being held to remove Blago from office.

Ed has a reputation for his cross examinations! From Time’s latest on Genson, here:

“I teach cross-examination at my law firm, and a lot of what I teach I learned by watching Ed Genson carve up my witnesses,” said Scott Lassar, the former U.S. Attorney in Chicago and current partner with the firm of Sidley Austin, who went mano-a-mano with Genson as a young prosecutor.

So, the impeachment move has ground to a screeching halt, and Blago suddenly has the look of the Cheshire Cat on his face.

The Republicans should continue to loudly demand that the groundwork for impeachment inquiry move forward apace, and that the Legislature immediately pass a bill to hold a special election to fill the remainder of Obama’s term, which, as some Republicans have noted, could be held on the same date as the consolidated election (for municipal offices) on the first Tuesday in April. Hell, they should seek to put Rahm’s seat up for election too, although he hasn’t resigned yet!

There is no inconsistency involved in seeking to move forward on two tracks. If one doesn’t work (impeachment) the other will at east put a replacement Senator in place.

That seems to be their best shot at ringing the bell to end this intermission in the drama.

Trochilus on December 19, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Don’t use quotes unless you are sure I used that word:

What I’ve said that I think happened (to which I will own up to if it turns out not to be true) is that Obama (or someone on his team) didn’t play ball with Blagojevich and pulled Jarrett from consideration once they found out what Blago wanted. This, I think, is pretty clearly backed up by the evidence.

Now, it’s also been shown that Blagojevich wanted to go back and offer to seat another candidate in exchange for some sort of “501″ scheme. Now, since Obama knew Blago was under investigation and had been distancing himself from him since at least August, I don’t think he would pull his #1 candidate only to “play ball” with his second choice. That doesn’t make sense to me. And since Blago shifted attention to Jessie Jr. in early December, it doesn’t seem he didn’t.

If that scenario turns out not to be true, I will come here and post that I was wrong.

Tom_Shipley on December 12, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Archives and search engines: the bane of liberal statements.

Let us return to December 13th.

… I don’t see it causing Obama to drop Emmanuel. I don’t think people will really care.
Tom_Shipley on December 13, 2008 at 4:44 PM

The “I don’t see” was, I guess, not a true indication of your feelings about whether Obama was going to shed a member of his team over this issue. So, not a “sure” thing on your part. Am I to believe that when you say “I don’t see” you really don’t see? Also, “I don’t think” means you really don’t think?

The archives really show a very subtle shift in your “thinking” as the situation evolves. But, that is the liberal way.

Yoop on December 19, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Just saw the Blago press conference . . . well, the presser at which he made his statement and then booked.

Fight, fight fight!” said the Cheshire Cat! He’s not going anywhere until he gets a nice soft landing. Your move, Pat!

And, Genson having said that Blago will not appoint a replacement for Obama, what are the Democrats going to do now . . . file an action in lieu of Mandamus in order to get a court order compelling him to fill the vacancy, and then impeach him for failing to comply with the court order to perform his duty of naming the replacement?

Heh!

That, when it is obvious that no self-respecting person would likely accept the appointment? And, that given the fact that Harry has already as much as nixed the idea of seating any appointment made by Blago?

No . . . it looks like the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. They either have to either go ahead and impeach him (allowing his replacement to then fill the seat), or pass a law to provide for a special election. They do NOT want that rock fight, so they may be forced to go for the special election.

If they quickly set it up for the April election, it will cut down on the costs. If they wait for November, that would be eight months with only one U.S. Senator for Illinois — how would that be for handing a few future campaign issues to the Republicans?

That is, a few in addition to the obvious one — hint: the guy with the funny hair!

Trochilus on December 19, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Saying “i don’t think” something will happen or “i don’t see” something happening is pretty much the same thing. It implies that it’s of your opinion something won’t happen.

Saying “i’m sure something won’t happen” is different. It implies a level of certainty that the former two do not. And I have never stated that I was certain Emmanuel would not be dropped because of his actions in this. In fact, in this thread I said as much. I don’t think it will happen and I’ve said why, but I’ve never said I was “sure” or certain it wasn’t.

You misquoted me and misrepresented what I’ve been saying.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 4:14 PM

So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?”

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

If that were true, Rahm would be saying things like “yeah, we talked but we didn’t want to do anything unethical so we left.” Instead, all we get is “nobody I know talked to Blago at all.”
The most likely situation is that he knows some of the conversations were recorded, but not sure which ones were caught. He is trying to not say anything to incriminate himself accidentally if they don’t have those conversations on tape.

Corsair on December 19, 2008 at 4:19 PM

If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down.

After how many conversations?

That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.

Didn’t the people of Illinois have a right to know that their governor was dirty?

Wasn’t Obama’s team concerned that Blago would make an appointment based on a deal he cut with someone else?

It seems to me that the new administration was bound ethically to report this to the AG and bound, politically, to report this to Harry Reid so he would know to block the appointment.

Y-not on December 19, 2008 at 4:33 PM

It seems to me that the new administration was bound ethically to report this to the AG and bound, politically, to report this to Harry Reid so he would know to block the appointment.

Y-not on December 19, 2008 at 4:33 PM

A reasonable expectation, if Team Obama had conceded Vacancy Game over at that point. But having delivered an “approved list” to Harris, and with a point man in Emanuel who makes Sarah Palin’s metaphoric pit bull look like a neutered shitzu by comparison, you’ll pardon my skepticism.

Because of Fitzgerald’s (and the Chicago Tribune’s) premature intervention, among the other things we don’t (and may never) know is what Obama/Emanuel’s revised plan was regarding that seat, other than that Jarrett was no longer in play. Perhaps more clues are yet to emerge. Perhaps ethics weren’t the top consideration.

Barnestormer on December 19, 2008 at 5:35 PM

More on the corruption that defines a Democrat…
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122964897338520479.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Keemo

“Mrs. Pelosi’s problem is politics. Her refusal to temporarily remove Mr. Rangel from Ways and Means is in part a reticence to further anger the Congressional Black Caucus, which remains steamed that she worked for Mr. Jefferson’s ouster from his seat on Ways and Means. Worse, next in line for Mr. Rangel’s slot is Rep. Pete Stark, an off-the-charts liberal who Mrs. Pelosi would struggle to leash.”

Jezzz!
Sounds like Romper room the next generation

DSchoen on December 19, 2008 at 6:23 PM

I got stuck watching CNN earlier this afternoon while running on a treadmill at the gym and a panel was discussing Blago’s presser this afternoon. A reporter on the panel suggested that this whole story wasn’t really a big deal since nobody asked any questions about it to Obama at his press avail earlier in the day. It must be nice to have a media that lays down and is too afraid to challenge the Messiah.

PatMac on December 19, 2008 at 6:51 PM

“So let me get this straight… if it comes out that Blagojevich wanted Obama to “pay” for his preferred candidate to be named to the senate, and Obama (or his team) refused, then it makes they look “very dirty and unethical?”
If they didn’t report it, they’ll still end up looking good because they had a chance to “pay to play” but turned it down. That will make them look clean and ethical. Not reporting it would be an afterthought.”
Tom_Shipley

Tom your so close.

BTW did you go to UC Berkeley?

Yep Tom there is no such thing as a “bad Samaritan” law.
If you witness a crime you have NO legal obligation to report it.

If you see a crime being committed you have NO legal obligation to intervene or report it.

If you have “witness a crime” or know of a crime that has been committed or is being committed and you don’t report it you have done NOTHING legally or technically “Inappropriate”.

So yes Tom you are correct, Obama, Team Obama or David Cash all saw and knew of crimes being committed and did nothing about it.

Does that make them look good?

Ask the parents of Sherrice Iverson, the 7-year-old girl that David Cash watched his “buddy” Jeremy Strohmeyer rape and murder.

If you think that’s your definition of “clean and ethical” then I would have to disagree.

Oh BTW David Cash, who went to UC Berkeley, didn’t bother to report it as well.

Guess that would be like “ an afterthought.”

Congratulations you won this argument.

DSchoen on December 19, 2008 at 7:39 PM

“Saying “i’m sure something won’t happen” is different. It implies a level of certainty that the former two do not. And I have never stated that I was certain Emmanuel would not be dropped because of his actions in this. In fact, in this thread I said as much. I don’t think it will happen and I’ve said why, but I’ve never said I was “sure” or certain it wasn’t.
You misquoted me and misrepresented what I’ve been saying.
Tom_Shipley on December 19, 2008 “

Tru dat, Tom

Obama: I had ‘no contact’ with Blagojevich about Senate seat.»
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/09/obama-no-contact-blagojevich/

Watch it:
OBAMA: “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening. As I said it is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment.”

DSchoen on December 19, 2008 at 8:14 PM

““Didn’t the people of Illinois have a right to know that their governor was dirty?
Wasn’t Obama’s team concerned that Blago would make an appointment based on a deal he cut with someone else?
It seems to me that the new administration was bound ethically to report this to the AG and bound, politically, to report this to Harry Reid so he would know to block the appointment.
Y-not”

Uhm, dang good point.

Even Tom Shipley agrees Obama and or his team had to know what the Gov was trying to do, and didn’t report it.
The didn’t play, BUT they also did nothing to stop it.
Guess that level of corruption in politics is just not important to Obama.

Is this going to be the prism that his admin is viewed through for the next 4 years?

DSchoen on December 19, 2008 at 9:41 PM