Dec 09 2008
Major Update: Some news local reporters are getting hints the President-Elect Obama’s Chief of Staff -Rep Â Rahm Emmanuel – may have tipped off authorities on Blag’s efforts to extort the President-Elect (as I posited in this post originally:
Here is a transcript of the key part from Think Progress:Â
CONATY:Â We did receive a tip this morningÂ that perhaps all of this came together so quickly because the Governor may have reached out to Rahm Emanuel, the president-electâ€™s chief of staff, in attempting to leverage filling the Senate seat.Â And it may have been Rahm Emanuel who tipped the scale and made this move as quickly as it did.
The only problem with this is the timing of the wire taps – which began before Obama was elected. If one looks at the government chargesÂ the background on the investigating clearly indicates the first clues of a problem came in early October 2008 – before Obama was elected and before Emmanuel was named Chief of Staff. According to Paragraph 14 of the charges the first wires were authorized on Oct 21st, which means the evidence was gathered even early.
How could Emmanuel have tipped off authorities before the election? With the polls showing a strong possibility that Obama would win, was there some preemptive garbage being cleaned out of some closets? How is it a tip from Emmanuel would trigger a wire that collected damning comments the day after the election? Seems to me that this reporting would indicate Obama was being pressured before the election, not just afterwards.
– end update
This is interesting. Seems Blag was blackmailing Obama to put his wife on some high paid corporate boards, or else he would go with Jesse Jackson Jr as the new senator from Illinois since Jackson was willing to come through with the job and salary:
Among other things, ROD BLAGOJEVICH raised the issue of
whether the President-elect could help get ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife on “paid corporate
boards right now.” Advisor A responded that he “think[s] they could” and that a “President elect
. . . can do almost anything he sets his mind to.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he
will appoint “[Senate Candidate 1] . . . but if they feel like they can do this and not fucking
give me anything . . . then I’ll fucking go [Senate Candidate 5].”
“Later on December 4, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke to Fundraiser A. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated he was “elevating” Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates for the open Senate seat.Â
The only candidate with whom Blagojevich met within that period was Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Blagojevich said that he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided
Blagojevich with something “tangible up front.”
Sounds like blackmail to me.