I doubt it’ll happen, but just the idea of The One sharing a flurry of news headlines with America’s most loathsome governor makes me giddy.
The only thing that could make it more awesome is if Blago did the direct examination himself.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers asked a federal judge today to force President Obama to testify at Blagojevich’s upcoming corruption trial, asserting that Obama played more of a role in the process of selecting someone to replace him in the U.S. Senate than Obama has acknowledged.
On the day before he was elected president, then-Sen. Obama personally called a union official about his desire for Blagojevich to appoint Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the Senate, according to Blagojevich’s defense filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago…
The statements by the union official to the FBI — as relayed through Blagojevich’s lawyers — had never been made public before now.
They appear to slightly differ from Obama’s recollection of events regarding Jarrett and regarding Blagojevich’s authority as governor to appoint someone to fill Obama’s Senate seat.
The punchline here? Blago’s electronic defense filing blacked out all the portions related to Obama, but they did such a poor technical job of it that all you had to do was copy/paste the document into a new file and the redacted portions appeared. Mediaite has all the “secret” passages compiled and condensed for your reading pleasure, but I recommend this piece from NBC Chicago instead, irresistibly titled, “The Six Secrets You Need to Know from the Obama Subpoena Request.” Quote:
2. Obama may have overtly recommended Valerie Jarret for his Senate seat
Blagojevich’s defense team basically alleges that Obama told a certain labor union official that he (Obama) would support Valerie Jarrett’s candidacy for the Senate seat. Jarrett, referred to as “Senate Candidate B”, is now a senior advisor to the president…
6. Obama had a secret phone call with Blagojevich
Redacted portion: President-elect Obama also spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008 in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect Obama. The government claims a conspiracy existed from October 22, 2008 continuing through December 9, 2008.6 That conversation is relevant to the defense of the government’s theory of an ongoing conspiracy. Only Rod Blagojevich and President Obama can testify to the contents of that conversation. The defense is allowed to present evidence that corroborates the defendant’s testimony.
There’s also a reference to Tony Rezko trying to extract a favor from Obama in return for fundraising, but even Blago’s lawyers acknowledge that The One refused the request. In fact, at no point does the subpoena filing accuse him of wrongdoing; even so, I’m highlighting the two points excerpted above because they may show that Obama’s lying. Remember after the Blago scandal broke big how Team Barry conducted an internal review to see who had had contact with the governor’s office? Supposedly, Rahm Emanuel was the only one, but if this filing is accurate, then that’s essentially untrue. Rahm may have been the only one who had direct contact with Blago’s team but The One was passing messages to them through — ta da — a labor crony. Then again, how likely is that? Obama surely knew how shady Blagojevich was even before he was arrested in December 2008. If he was going to try to influence him, why not farm the task out to one of his own staffers so there’d be a fall guy handy in case this blew up?
As for the December 1 phone call between Obama and Blago himself, I think that’s old news. Judicial Watch discovered evidence of it the following month, but both men have a legit excuse for the contact: Blagojevich was in Philly for the national governors’ meeting with Obama and Biden and supposedly they were only talking about the economy. Although I guess that’s why the subpoena is needed — to find out from The One himself precisely what was said.
Exit question for our attorney readers: Are the chances of this subpoena being issued slim or well and truly none?
Update: Assuming that it is indeed Blago’s defense team that’s responsible for the redaction glitch and not the court, what are the odds that they flubbed this purposely knowing that the media would uncover the “secret” parts and that it would blow interest in the subpoena request sky high?