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Rezko Ties Link Obama and Blagojovich


Don Roberdeau
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Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/rezko_oba.../09/159976.html

<QUOTE>

Rezko Ties Link Obama and Blagojovich

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 3:36 PM

By: David A. Patten

President-elect Barack Obama’s ties to indicted Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich primarily run through Chicago slum lord and convicted felon Tony Rezko, who helped launch Obama’s political career and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both politicians.

A 76-page FBI affidavit released today after the arrest of Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, says Blagojevich conspired “to sell” the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called the effort to barter the seat the “most sinister and appalling” of a long list of accusations against Blagojevich. Blagojevich, as governor, is responsible for naming Obama’s replacement.

Rezko has had extensive ties to both men:

Rezko’s Ties to Obama

* According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the two met in 1990 while Obama was still attending Harvard Law School. Rezko offered Obama a job, but Obama declined.

* In 1995, Obama billed 32 hours for work done on behalf of Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., a company involved in a low-income housing partnership with Rezko. He also wrote letters supporting the proposed development.

* Rezko was Obama’s second largest individual contributor when he began his run for an Illinois state Senate seat in 1995. Two Rezko companies contributed $2,000 to Obama’s campaign, and Rezko and wife Rita reportedly worked on Obama’s campaign.

* In the first half of 1997, according to a report by Newsmax Contributing Editor Kenneth R. Timmerman, two Rezko companies contributed $2,000 to Obama’s ongoing political operation.

* In the first half of 1998, Rezko provided Obama’s campaign food worth an estimated $457.70 as an “in-kind contribution.”

* Rezko was one of Obama’s biggest contributors when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2003 and 2004, and Rezko was a member of Obama’s campaign finance committee, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

* In June 2003, Rezko held a ritzy fund-raiser for Obama at his tony Wilmette mansion. Obama later said, “Rezko was not my largest fundraiser but a significant fundraiser.” According to Reuters, Obama said Rezko raised as much as $250,000.

* In 2005, as news began to spread that federal authorities were investigating Rezko, Obama bought a house in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood for $1.65 million. Rezko’s wife, Rita, paid $625,000 for a lot adjacent to Obama’s new home, and the two deals closed on the same day.

* Seven months later, Rezko’s wife sold one-sixth of her lot – a 10-foot strip of a 60-foot lot -- to Obama for $104,500.

* In December 2006, Obama told the Washington Post the deal was a “boneheaded” mistake. “There’s no doubt I should have seen some red flags in terms of me purchasing a piece of property from him,” Obama said.

* The Post reports Rezko and Obama later “collaborated” to construct a fence to divide the two properties, which Obama said was required by city code. Obama paid for lawn maintenance for both properties.

* In March 2008, Obama said Rezko had raised up to $250,000 to help underwrite his prior campaigns in Illinois – a much higher figure than had previously been reported.

* Rezko helped Obama’s presidential campaign raise over $150,000. The campaign later donated Rezko’s contributions to charity.

Rezko Ties to Blagojevich

* The FBI says between June 2001 and August 2004 Rezko raised over $1.4 million for Blagojevich’s political campaigns, according to the Los Angeles Times. (Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002, and reelected in 2006.)

* Rezko hosted Blagojevich’s first post-election party at his mansion. Although he had no official role in the Blagojevich administration, he reportedly participated in several Blagojevich strategy retreats.

* In October 2006, authorities indicted Rezko for soliciting kickbacks from companies seeking state contracts that were awarded by officials under the governor’s authority. According to the Los Angeles Times and others, $20,000 that Rezko garnered from kickbacks found its way via a middleman into Obama’s Senate campaign coffers.

* Rezko’s June 2008 trial on corruption strongly implicated Blagojevich. Blagojevich allegedly discussed a state job for a donor, after that donor wrote a $25,000 check for his campaign.

* During the trial, prosecutors maintained that Rezko routinely arranged shakedowns while serving as a top Blagojevich adviser.

* In all, prosecutors said, Rezko squeezed various companies for some $7 million in kickbacks.

* Following his conviction on 16 counts of fraud, money laundering, and aiding and abetting bribery, Rezko said federal authorities tried to pressure him “to tell the wrong things” about the Obama and Blagojevich. The Sun-Times reported prosecutors pushed Rezko to cooperate in the corruption probe against Blagojevich.

It should be noted that Obama has consistently stated he never intervened on behalf of Rezko in any state or federal business. Authorities have yet to suggest any wrongdoing on the part of either Obama or his staff.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obam...-121108.article

<QUOTE>

Is Emanuel the adviser on gov tape?

MUM: Obama's chief of staff refuses to answer the question

December 11, 2008

BY FRAN SPIELMAN AND ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporters

President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama “advisor” named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.

A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.

“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Dont do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”

Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.

Blagojevch was caught on tape saying that he wanted the Obama advisor in question to know what Blagojevich wanted in exchange for the Jarrett appointment.

Blagojevich said, “He asks me for the fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head.” Emanuel represents the 5th Congressional District in Illinois.

No one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing. Obama said this morning that none of his staff has had a hand in any dealmaking on his Senate replacement.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/1333057...SNEED16.article

<QUOTE>

Rahm's calls on tape

The Blago scandal . . .

December 16, 2008

BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist

Sneed hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!

A lot of chit-chat?

Hot air?

Or trouble?

• • To date: Rahm's been mum. Stay tuned.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagoje...-rahm17.article

<QUOTE>

RAHM EMANUEL Pressed for Jarrett appointment to Senate

December 17, 2008

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters

President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was pushing for Obama's successor just days after the Nov. 4 election, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Emanuel privately urged Gov. Blagojevich's administration to appoint Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett, and the Sun-Times learned Tuesday that he also pressed that it be done by a certain deadline.

Jarrett was initially interested in the U.S. Senate post before Obama tapped her to be a White House senior adviser, sources say.

The disclosure comes days after Obama's camp downplayed Jarrett's interest in the post.

At one point, an "emissary" who said he represented Jarrett had discussions with Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris and the governor about naming Jarrett to the post, according to a criminal complaint.

In addition to the discussions, Emanuel submitted a list of names of candidates suitable to the Obama team to the governor's administration. Jarrett was not among those names because she had pulled herself out of the running at that point, a source with the Obama camp said.

Obama said Monday that an internal report detailing any staff contacts with the embattled governor or his aide would be made public next week.

Emanuel's discussions do not indicate he was involved in dealmaking with the governor. However, his deeper involvement creates a sticky political situation for Obama.

An Emanuel source said it was "possible" that Emanuel discussed the appointment with Harris and that a specific date was mentioned. "Valerie was deciding whether she wanted to go the Senate. Others had talked to her about it. There were plenty of people who talked to her about it and thought she would be a good choice," the source said.

Jarrett could not be reached for comment about the conversations. Emanuel has refused to answer questions about his conversations with either the governor or his top aides.

Last week's explosive charges and arrest of Blagojevich have put into play impeachment proceedings against the governor, which continue today in Springfield. The arrest also triggered a request to the Illinois Supreme court to remove Blagojevich from office.

Blagojevich was charged with trying to leverage the U.S. Senate seat appointment for campaign contributions, an ambassadorship or job for himself and his wife.

Contributing: Lynn Sweet

Complete Blagojevich pay-to-play coverage at BlagoBusted.com

Rahm pressed for Jarrett appointment to Senate

Holder omitted Blago link from questionnaire

Source: Blago nixed job for Jackson Jr.'s wife

Blago channels Elvis; will address Illinoisans 'soon'

House begins impeachment exploration

Daley implies Blago should resign

Former Blago adviser Chris Kelly to plead guilty

Patti apologizes to neighbors for media presence

What our columnists are saying

Mark Brown: Dems' reverse on Senate seat a bad move

Michael Sneed: Rahm's calls on tape

Carol Marin: Gov's lawyer likely to infuriate Legislature

Steve Huntley: Who will Blago drag down?

Mark Brown: 'That's just politics' won't cut it for Blago

Mary Mitchell: Obama's Senate list a big miss

PDFs:

Read the complaint against Blagojevich

Official release from US Attorney's office

Durbin's letter to Blago asking him to resign

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

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Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagoje...m18good.article

<QUOTE>

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source

DEEPER ROLE?

Pushed Jarrett for Senate seat

December 18, 2008

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

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.

At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said.

After Jarrett took herself out of the running in mid-November, Emanuel submitted a list of suitable names to the governor's camp that didn't include her name.

Emanuel, who has refused to comment on the issue, is not accused of wrongdoing.

In portions of conversations released in a criminal complaint against Blagojevich, he can be heard complaining that Obama wouldn't give anything in return for a Jarrett appointment.

Contributing: Fran Spielman

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

Under the "magic-limbed-ricochet-tree": Z-188, then, Z-203 to 206

Discovery: ROSEMARY WILLIS's Zapruder Film Documented 2nd Headsnap:

West, Ultrafast, & Directly Towards the "Grassy Knoll"

Dealey Plaza Professionally-surveyed Map Detailing 11-22-63 Victims precise

locations, Witnesses, Photographers, Evidence, Suspected bullet trajectories, Important

information & Considerations

President Kennedy "Men of Courage" Speech, & JFK Assassination

Research & Discoveries Homepage for Your Considerations

T ogether

E veryone

A chieves

M ore

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National Terror Alert for the United States:

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Although I still doubt that Obama had any direct culpability in Blago's trying to sell the seat, it will be interesting to see how the evidence unfolds.

Obama is releasing the results of his investigation next week, which means that he may try to bury the story around Christmas.

Time will tell to see when and how he discloses such findings.

Of course I think that Obama, through Rahm, pushed hard with Blago for Jarrett.

But I doubt that Obama did anything illegal.

In any event, Blago personifies the political culture in which Obama was a key player for the last 10 or so years.

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Although I still doubt that Obama had any direct culpability in Blago's trying to sell the seat, it will be interesting to see how the evidence unfolds.

Obama is releasing the results of his investigation next week, which means that he may try to bury the story around Christmas.

Time will tell to see when and how he discloses such findings.

Of course I think that Obama, through Rahm, pushed hard with Blago for Jarrett.

But I doubt that Obama did anything illegal.

In any event, Blago personifies the political culture in which Obama was a key player for the last 10 or so years.

Imagine that a black politico out of Illinois dealing with a Chicago slum-lord.... I think I'll write a book! LMFAO!

Say didn't the Chicago newspaper declare bankruptcy? One last print fling before the bytes take over, eh?

Edited by David G. Healy
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Although I still doubt that Obama had any direct culpability in Blago's trying to sell the seat, it will be interesting to see how the evidence unfolds.

Obama is releasing the results of his investigation next week, which means that he may try to bury the story around Christmas.

Time will tell to see when and how he discloses such findings.

Of course I think that Obama, through Rahm, pushed hard with Blago for Jarrett.

But I doubt that Obama did anything illegal.

In any event, Blago personifies the political culture in which Obama was a key player for the last 10 or so years.

Imagine that a black politico out of Illinois dealing with a Chicago slum-lord.... I think I'll write a book! LMFAO!

Say didn't the Chicago newspaper declare bankruptcy? One last print fling before the bytes take over, eh?

Yes, this is great news. Especially if your hoping there is a possibility that yellow media and Republican hacks can take the assertions made here and expound on them to the point that Obama becomes, in essence, tarred by, nothing more than guilt by association, morphing into the sinister figure that, no doubt the Cheney's and Republican hacks of America would love to see him portrayed as......

With any luck maybe Cheney will become the person sworn in soon after a McCarthy Era style guilt by innuendo methodism.

Then the country will really be in the toilet.........

I have a great deal of confidence in Patrick Fitzgerald, and I certainly do not fear, what the truth might reveal when the smoke clears, as long as it's the truth and not a mass media political ploy to destroy Obama, just because he wants to make the country better.....

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Although I still doubt that Obama had any direct culpability in Blago's trying to sell the seat, it will be interesting to see how the evidence unfolds.

Obama is releasing the results of his investigation next week, which means that he may try to bury the story around Christmas.

Time will tell to see when and how he discloses such findings.

Of course I think that Obama, through Rahm, pushed hard with Blago for Jarrett.

But I doubt that Obama did anything illegal.

In any event, Blago personifies the political culture in which Obama was a key player for the last 10 or so years.

Imagine that a black politico out of Illinois dealing with a Chicago slum-lord.... I think I'll write a book! LMFAO!

Say didn't the Chicago newspaper declare bankruptcy? One last print fling before the bytes take over, eh?

Yes, this is great news. Especially if your hoping there is a possibility that yellow media and Republican hacks can take the assertions made here and expound on them to the point that Obama becomes, in essence, tarred by, nothing more than guilt by association, morphing into the sinister figure that, no doubt the Cheney's and Republican hacks of America would love to see him portrayed as......

With any luck maybe Cheney will become the person sworn in soon after a McCarthy Era style guilt by innuendo methodism.

Then the country will really be in the toilet.........

I have a great deal of confidence in Patrick Fitzgerald, and I certainly do not fear, what the truth might reveal when the smoke clears, as long as it's the truth and not a mass media political ploy to destroy Obama, just because he wants to make the country better.....

Robert-

I am not hoping that this matter tars Obama.

As I said on several occasions, I suspect that he did nothing unlawful.

I, too, think that Fitzgerald will go where the evidence takes him, and everyone, especially national Republican mouthpieces (i.e. the ones on talk TV), should shut up, let Obama be sworn in and try to move the country forward.

Seeing Republicans who are still, 7 weeks after the election, running attack ads about Obama makes me conclude that they are delusional.

There are few Constitutional or policy matters on which I agree with Obama, but the people selected him and he deserves the right to serve, along with his Democratic Congress.

If I were a Republican Congressman or Senator, I would try to assume the role of leading the opposition against bailouts.

They are immensely unpopular, they are dreadful, from a policy perspective, and I fully expect the Obama administration to continue its support for them.

At this point, I am considerably more concerned about Bush bailing out another poorly run industry than I am about Cheney starting another war.

Carry on.

Edited by Christopher Hall
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Well, that sounds fair enough to me....And don't get me wrong, after hearing the transcripts of the Blagojevich conversation that has been dominating the news, I think the guy is......well, forum protocol restricts what I can put in verbal form; Let's just say I think he is a real piece of work......

The fact that he is portraying himself as Custer at Little Big Horn, allied against the forces of evil, and willing to string this out to the end I think, reveals the man has no character whatsoever.......

Que Sera, Sera....

Edited by Robert Howard
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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123006506377030963.html

<QUOTE>

Obama, Two Aides Questioned in Probe

By JONATHAN WEISMAN

Federal prosecutors investigating alleged corruption by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich interviewed President-elect Barack Obama and two of his top advisers last week in connection with the case, according to a memo released Tuesday by the Obama transition team.

The five-page memo denies any wrongdoing or improper communication between the transition team and Mr. Blagojevich, who prosecutors allege sought to fill Mr. Obama's vacant Senate seat in exchange for money or a better job. Prosecutors have said no one on the Obama transition team is a suspect.

Mr. Obama had promised shortly after Mr. Blagojevich's Dec. 9 arrest to release an accounting of contacts between his staff and the governor's office. Federal agents had been wiretapping conversations by Mr. Blagojevich in October and November as part of their criminal investigation.

The memo released Tuesday said Mr. Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, contacted Mr. Blagojevich and his staff at least five times after Election Day, and produced a slate of suggested replacements for Mr. Obama's vacated Senate seat. Mr. Emanuel spoke about four times to Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris to discuss the Senate seat.

Neither Mr. Emanuel nor other Obama aides and confidants heard of Mr. Blagojevich's alleged efforts to auction the Senate appointment to the highest bidder, the report said.

Mr. Blagojevich was arrested on suspicion of using his authority as governor to wrest campaign donations and other favors in exchange for signing legislation into law. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Messrs. Obama and Emanuel, as well as top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, were interviewed by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on Dec. 18, 19 and 20 -- an extraordinary outreach from law enforcement during a presidential transition. The interviews lasted two hours, and their lawyers were present.

The Obama audit of contacts between aides and Mr. Blagojevich's staff revealed considerably more discussions between the two camps than previously divulged, and it described an apparently concerted effort by the governor to crack the Obama circle.

Union Role

One effort apparently involved the head of the Service Employees International Union in Illinois, Tom Balanoff. He approached Ms. Jarrett and related the governor's desire to be named Health and Human Services secretary while also mentioning the governor was considering her for the Senate seat, according to the Obama memo. Mr. Balanoff didn't say Mr. Blagojevich was linking the two, the memo said.

"Ms. Jarrett viewed that as a ridiculous proposition and waved it off," said Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama's choice for White House counsel, who led the audit and wrote the memo. He spoke to reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

In another instance, a deputy Illinois governor approached one of Mr. Obama's best friends, Eric Whitaker, to talk about the Senate seat, the memo said. Mr. Craig said at no point did it become clear those approaches were intended to open negotiations over the seat. "If [the governor] was actively seeking a response from the president-elect's people, he was not overt or explicit about that in any way, shape, or form," Mr. Craig said.

The Obama memo was issued as the president-elect vacationed in Hawaii, and Mr. Emanuel began a holiday trip to Africa. Obama aides said the timing of the release was dictated by Mr. Fitzgerald, who had requested a delay related to the investigation. Mr. Craig said he was ready to release his audit on Dec. 15 but was asked to wait until Christmas week.

Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant urged Mr. Obama to release internal documents and emails to back up the audit's findings.

P1-AO093_OBAMA_NS_20081223210015.gif

"While Obama certainly deserves some credit for releasing his team's contacts with Gov. Blagojevich, it remains unfortunate he acted only after political pressure was exerted," Mr. Conant said in a statement. "Hopefully, President-elect Obama's promises of transparency related to this matter will extend to all communications, including written."

The report's conclusions are based on the recollections of Obama aides, not on federal wiretap recordings of Mr. Blagojevich, his aides and his advisers, which make up the heart of the federal arrest affidavit, Mr. Craig said. He said the law-enforcement tapes weren't available to the legal staff that canvassed the Obama team.

By his recollections, Mr. Emanuel had one or two phone conversations with Mr. Blagojevich between Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, as Mr. Emanuel was deliberating whether to resign his House seat, representing Chicago's North Side. Soon after, Mr. Emanuel called the Illinois governor again to say he would leave Congress to take a White House post. The conversation included talk about the merits of candidates for the Senate seat, especially those of Ms. Jarrett, whom Mr. Emanuel believed the president-elect favored, according to the memo.

The two men didn't discuss any potential appointment for Mr. Blagojevich -- either to the cabinet, a political nonprofit organization or "any other personal benefit for the governor," according to the memo. The federal arrest affidavit alleged the governor had talked about such a trade with his aides and advisers.

In subsequent conversations with Mr. Harris -- after Ms. Jarrett took herself out of the running to take a White House job -- Mr. Emanuel produced a slate of favored candidates with the president-elect's authorization. The names included Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

In later telephone conversations, Mr. Emanuel added Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 7, the SEIU's Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett he had spoken with the governor about her possible selection for the Senate. Then he said Mr. Blagojevich had raised the possibility of an appointment as Health and Human Services secretary.

"Ms. Jarrett did not understand the conversation to suggest that the governor wanted the cabinet seat as a quid pro quo," the memo said.

Reaching Out

In another approach, Illinois Deputy Governor Louanner Peters called Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Obama's close friend, shortly after the election. He said that Mr. Blagojevich was hearing from people about candidates they wanted to take Mr. Obama's Senate seat, according to the memo. She then asked Mr. Whitaker who could speak on Mr. Obama's behalf. Mr. Whitaker spoke with the president-elect, who said no one was authorized to discuss the issue, the memo said.

Mr. Emanuel's spokeswoman said he couldn't be reached for comment because he was traveling. Ms. Jarrett said in an email that Mr. Craig "answered everything completely." Mr. Whitaker couldn't be reached.

The Blagojevich controversy has been an early test for the incoming Obama administration, which has promised to be the most transparent in history.

Obama aides have accused news reporters of unfairly insinuating wrongdoing despite Mr. Fitzgerald's assurances that the president-elect and his staff were not suspects.

Critics have said the Obama team fumbled the issue and allowed those insinuations to ripen by not being forthcoming.

Republican and Democratic lawyers have said Mr. Fitzgerald had no legal authority to keep Mr. Obama from speaking out earlier.

The federal affidavit made clear that Obama aides would not participate in Mr. Blagojevich's alleged schemes to sell the Senate seat.

—Cam Simpson and David Kesmodel contributed to this article.

Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

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....Good Day.... FYI............

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/doc...mablagomemo.pdf

Full text of Obama staff transition report

<QUOTE>

TO: The President-Elect

FROM: Greg Craig

DATE: December 23, 2008

SUBJECT: Transition Staff Contacts with the Governor’s Office

At your direction, I arranged for transition staff to provide accounts of any contacts that you or

they may have had with Governor Blagojevich or his office in which the subject of your

successor came up.

The accounts support your statement on December 11, 2008 that you “have never spoken to the

Governor on this subject [or] about these issues,” and that you “had no contact with the

Governor’s office.” In addition, the accounts contain no indication of inappropriate discussions

with the Governor or anyone from his office about a “deal” or a quid pro quo arrangement in

which he would receive a personal benefit in return for any specific appointment to fill the

vacancy.

One member of the transition staff, Rahm Emanuel, did have contacts of the type covered by

your request. I discuss the nature of those contacts in the attached report. David Axelrod and

Valerie Jarrett, two other individuals on the transition staff, did not have any contacts with the

Governor or his office but are included in the report to address questions raised by the press.

These accounts were communicated to the Office of the United States Attorney in interviews that

were conducted last week. At the request of the Office, we delayed the release of this report

until such time as the interviews could be completed. The interviews took place over a period of

three days: Thursday, December 18, 2008 (the President-Elect); December 19, 2008 (Valerie

Jarrett); and December 20, 2008 (Rahm Emanuel).

One other individual, Dr. Eric Whitaker, a family friend, was approached and asked for

information by a member of the Governor’s circle. I have included an account of this contact

even though Dr. Whitaker is not a member of the transition staff.

Report to the President-Elect

On December 11, 2008, the President-Elect asked the White House Counsel-designate to

determine whether there had been any staff contacts or communications – and the nature of any

such contacts of communications – between the transition and Governor Blagojevich and his

office relating to the selection of the President-Elect’s successor in the United States Senate.

The results of that review are as follows:

The President-Elect

The President-Elect had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich or members of

his staff about the Senate seat. In various conversations with transition staff and others, the

President-Elect expressed his preference that Valerie Jarrett work with him in the White House.

He also stated that he would neither stand in her way if she wanted to pursue the Senate seat nor

actively seek to have her or any other particular candidate appointed to the vacancy.

After Ms. Jarrett decided on November 9, 2008 to withdraw her name from consideration as a

possible replacement for him in the Senate and to accept the White House job, the President-

Elect discussed other qualified candidates with David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel. Those

candidates included Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Jesse Jackson, Jr., Dan Hynes and

Tammy Duckworth. The President-Elect understood that Rahm Emanuel would relay these

names to the Governor’s office as additions to the pool of qualified candidates who might

already be under consideration. Mr. Emanuel subsequently confirmed to the President that he

had in fact relayed these names. At no time in the discussion of the Senate seat or of possible

replacements did the President-Elect hear of a suggestion that the Governor expected a personal

benefit in return for making this appointment to the Senate.

Rahm Emanuel

Mr. Emanuel had one or two telephone calls with Governor Blagojevich. Those conversations

occurred between November 6 and November 8, 2008. Soon after he decided to accept the

President-Elect’s offer to serve as Chief of Staff in the White House, Mr. Emanuel placed a call

to the Governor to give him a heads up that he was taking the Chief of Staff’s position in the

White House, and to advise him that he would be resigning his seat in the House of

Representatives. They spoke about Mr. Emanuel’s House seat, when he would be resigning and

potential candidates to replace him. He also had a brief discussion with the Governor about the

Senate seat and the merits of various people whom the Governor might consider. Mr. Emanuel

and the Governor did not discuss a cabinet position, 501c(4), a private sector position for the

Governor or any other personal benefit for the Governor.

In those early conversations with the Governor, Mr. Emanuel recommended Valarie Jarrett

because he knew she was interested in the seat. He did so before learning -- in further

conversations with the President-Elect -- that the President-Elect had ruled out communicating a

preference for any one candidate. As noted above, the President-Elect believed it appropriate to

provide the names of multiple candidates to be considered, along with others, who were qualified

to hold the seat and able to retain it in a future election. The following week, Mr. Emanuel

learned that the President-Elect and Ms. Jarrett with the President’s strong encouragement had

decided that she would take a position in the White House.

Between the time that Mr. Emanuel decided to accept the position of Chief of Staff in the White

House and December 8, 2008, Mr. Emanuel had about four telephone conversations with John

Harris, Chief of Staff to the Governor, on the subject of the Senate seat. In these conversations,

Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Harris discussed the merits of potential candidates and the strategic benefit

that each candidate would bring to the Senate seat. After Ms. Jarrett removed herself from

consideration, Mr. Emanuel – with the authorization of the President-Elect – gave Mr. Harris the

names of four individuals whom the President-Elect considered to be highly qualified: Dan

Hynes, Tammy Duckworth, Congresswoman Schakowsky and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

In later telephone conversations, Mr. Emanuel – also with the President-Elect’s approval –

presented other names of qualified candidates to Mr. Harris including Attorney General Lisa

Madigan and Ms. Cheryle Jackson. Mr. Harris did not make any effort to extract a personal

benefit for the Governor in any of these conversations. There was no discussion of a cabinet

position, of 501c(4), of a private sector position or of any other personal benefit to the Governor

in exchange for the Senate appointment.

Although Mr. Emanuel recalls having conversations with the President-Elect, with David

Axelrod and with Valerie Jarrett about who might possibly succeed the President-Elect in the

Senate, there was no mention of efforts by the Governor or his staff to extract a personal benefit

in return for filling the Senate vacancy.

Valerie Jarrett

Ms. Jarrett had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich , with his Chief of

Staff, John Harris or with any other people from the Governor’s office about a successor to

replace the President-Elect in the United States Senate or how the decision should be made. Nor

did she understand at any time prior to his arrest that the Governor was looking to receive some

form of payment or personal benefit for the appointment. Her only contact with the Governor

was at the Governor’s Conference in Philadelphia on December 2, 2008, over three weeks after

she had decided not to pursue the Senate seat and had accepted the President-Elect’s offer to

work in the White House. She had a brief conversation with him on that occasion. He wished

her well.

On November 7, 2008 -- at a time when she was still a potential candidate for the Senate seat --

Ms. Jarrett spoke with Mr. Tom Balanoff, the head of the Illinois chapter of the Service

Employees International Union (SEIU). Mr. Balanoff is not a member of the Governor’s staff

and did not purport to speak for the Governor on that occasion. But because the subject of the

Governor’s interest in a cabinet appointment came up in that conversation, I am including a

description of that meeting.

Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he had spoken to the Governor about the possibility of

selecting Valerie Jarrett to replace the President-Elect. He told her that Lisa Madigan’s name

also came up.

Ms. Jarrett recalls that Mr. Balanoff also told her that the Governor had raised with him the

question of whether the Governor might be considered as a possible candidate to head up the

Department of Health and Human Services in the new administration. Mr. Balanoff told Ms.

Jarrett that he told the Governor that it would never happen. Jarrett concurred.

Mr. Balanoff did not suggest that the Governor, in talking about HHS, was linking a position for

himself in the Obama cabinet to the selection of the President-Elect’s successor in the Senate,

and Ms. Jarrett did not understand the conversation to suggest that the Governor wanted the

cabinet seat as a quid pro quo for selecting any specific candidate to be the President-Elect’s

replacement. At no time did Balanoff say anything to her about offering Blagojevich a union

position.

David Axelrod

Mr. Axelrod had no conversations with anyone outside the President-Elect’s immediate circle

about who should replace the President-Elect in the United States Senate. No one ever came to

Mr. Axelrod to propose a deal involving the selection of a replacement, and nothing came up in

any of his conversations with the President-Elect or the members of the President-Elect’s

immediate circle that suggested that the Governor was seeking some kind of quid pro quo for the

appointment.

Mr. Axelrod recalls that, after the election, the President-Elect discussed – with Mr. Axelrod and

Mr. Emanuel – a number of individuals who were highly qualified to take his place in the Senate.

Mr. Axelrod was under the impression that the President-Elect would convey this information to

the Governor or to someone from the Governor’s office, which explains why Mr. Axelrod gave

an inaccurate answer on this subject to questions from the press. He later learned that it was Mr.

Emanuel who conveyed those names to the Governor’s Chief of Staff, John Harris.

Dr. Eric Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker had no contacts or communications with either the Governor or his Chief of Staff,

John Harris. He did have contact and communication with one individual purporting to act on

behalf of the Governor.

In the period immediately following the election on November 4, 2008 – on either November 6,

7 or 8 – Deputy Governor Louanner Peters called him at his office and left a message. When he

returned the call, Ms. Peters asked who spoke for the President-Elect with respect to the Senate

appointment. She explained that the Governor’s office had heard from others with

recommendations about the vacant seat. She stated that the Governor’s office wanted to know

who, if anyone, had the authority to speak for the President-Elect. Dr. Whitaker said he would

find out.

The President-Elect told Dr. Whitaker that no one was authorized to speak for him on the matter.

The President-Elect said that he had no interest in dictating the result of the selection process,

and he would not do so, either directly or indirectly through staff or others. Dr. Whitaker relayed

that information to Deputy Governor Peters.

Dr. Whitaker had no other contacts with anyone from the Governor’s office.

<END QUOTE>

Best Regards in Research,

Don

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John," Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, The Truth emerges Clearly

T ogether

E veryone

A chieves

M ore

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National Terror Alert for the United States:

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Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT9_ZIUSLhY

Arrogant Obama on Governor Blagojevich/Rahm Emanuel

Obama taking a question about Rahm Emanuel's contacts with Governor Blagojevich, arrogantly responds to Reporter John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune ..."Don't waste your question."

Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/article/legal-fight-pl...governor/280098

<QUOTE>

Blagojevich Pledges to Fight Charges

By DEANNA BELLANDI and MIKE ROBINSON, AP

CHICAGO (Dec. 19) - Facing federal corruption charges that threaten to end his political career, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made clear to the world what those close to him know well: He's not one to be easily fazed.

"I have done nothing wrong. And I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," a composed yet combative Blagojevich said Friday, addressing the public for the first time since his arrest 10 days earlier.

"I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath," Blagojevich said. He took no questions from reporters and immediately left the room after wishing his listeners, "Merry Christmas, happy holidays."

The 52-year-old Democrat's uncompromising pledge comes as little surprise to those who know him, but doesn't necessarily resonate.

"I just think that he is living in an alternate reality right now," state Sen. Christine Radogno, a suburban Chicago Republican said earlier Friday. "I don't think he's being realistic, probably even with himself, with respect to how much trouble he's in so he's just carrying on with what's worked for him before."

Blagojevich is charged with scheming to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for big campaign contributions or a lucrative job for himself. Prosecutors built their case on Blagojevich's wiretapped conversations.

"I'm here to tell you right off the bat that I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, that I intend to stay on the job, and I will fight this thing every step of the way," Blagojevich said.

Acknowledging his political isolation, he recited the opening lines of the stirring poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling: "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you ..."

What he hopes to accomplish by staying in office appears unclear. Blagojevich appears to have no political support, the Illinois House having voted 113-0 last week to assemble an impeachment committee, and his ability to govern has been crippled.

Still, following his appearance, Blagojevich issued 22 pardons. Aides wouldn't provide any information about why he granted the pardons, or what crimes the people were accused of committing, but the move served as reminder of the governor's authority.

Republican state Sen. Dale Righter said that if Blagojevich manages to escape impeachment, his governing will be limited to signing legislation, directing his agencies and other "housekeeping stuff." Blagojevich will not be able to work with lawmakers or energize the public to support his ideas, Righter said.

"Is this governor finished as a leader? I don't think there's any question about that," he said. "I don't think the instrument has yet been invented that can measure how little credibility he has."

After the speech, disappointed Republicans argued that if Blagojevich cannot be dislodged right away, he should at least be disarmed. They called on the Democrats in the Legislature to hold a special election to fill the Senate seat, stripping Blagojevich of the power to make the appointment.

"Anything short of resignation today from the governor was unacceptable," said Illinois GOP chairman Andy McKenna.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn pleaded with Blagojevich to step aside under a constitutional provision that allows him to keep his title but give his duties to an acting governor — which, under the rules of succession, would be Quinn.

"Our state cannot wait while the chief executive battles in the court of law while we have so many issues affecting safety and welfare of the state of Illinois," Quinn said.

Even before the speech, Blagojevich's lawyer, Ed Genson, a hard-charging Chicago criminal defense attorney, had made it plain the governor would not go down without a fight.

Genson challenged the Illinois House impeachment committee at every turn this week, arguing that the wiretaps were illegal, accusing some of the panel members of having already made up their mind, and complaining that Illinois law does not spell out the grounds for impeachment or what evidence should be considered.

"He'll worry about the criminal part, the governor will continue to govern," said another Blagojevich attorney, Sam Adam Jr.

The impeachment panel wants federal prosecutors to release details of their probe of Blagojevich, including copies of the taped conversations, and give the Legislature some guidance on who can be called as a witness without compromising the federal case.

Blagojevich, a former boxer, has for years cultivated an image as a fighter — dating back to his youth, when he trained for the Chicago Golden Gloves. During his first campaign for governor in 2002, Blagojevich and his aides would sum up each day's success in boxing terms: 10-10 for a draw, 10-9 a win, 10-8 a decisive win, a knockdown, and so on.

Once in office, he earned a reputation for publicly sparring with everyone from his Chicago alderman father-in-law to the powerful Democratic House speaker.

"Now I know there are some powerful forces arrayed against me," Blagojevich said Friday. "It's kind of lonely right now. But I have on my side the most powerful ally there is, and it's the truth. And besides, I have the personal knowledge that I have not done anything wrong."

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/article/illinois-gov-r...tatement/283002

<QUOTE>

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's statement Friday

CHICAGO -A transcript of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's statement Friday:

I'm here to tell you right off the bat that I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, that I intend to stay on the job, and I will fight this thing every step of the way. I will fight, I will fight, I will fight until I take my last breath.

I have done nothing wrong. And I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob.

Now that's what I'm going to do. Let me tell you what I'm not going to do. I'm not going to do what my accusers and political enemies have been doing, and that is to talk about this case in 30-second sound bites on "Meet the Press" or on the TV news.

Now I'm dying to answer these charges. I am dying to show you how innocent I am. And I want to assure everyone who's here and everyone who's listening that I intend to answer every allegation that comes my way. However, I intend to answer them in the appropriate forum, in a court of law. And when I do I am absolutely certain that I will be vindicated.

Rudyard Kipling wrote, 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you and make allowance for their doubting too, if you can wait and not be tired by waiting or being lied about, don't deal in lies, or being hated, don't give way to hating.'

Now I know there are some powerful forces arrayed against me. It's kind of lonely right now. But I have on my side the most powerful ally there is, and it's the truth. And besides, I have the personal knowledge that I have not done anything wrong.

To the people of Illinois, I ask that they wait and be patient, sit back and take a deep breath and please reserve judgment. Afford me the same rights that you and your children have: the presumption of innocence, the right to defend yourself, the right to your day in court — the same rights that you would expect for yourselves.

And one last thing: To those of you who have expressed your support to Patti and me during this difficult time, I'd like to thank you for your thoughts, I'd like to thank you for your prayers and I would like to thank you for your good wishes. Patti and I cannot express to you how grateful we are for your kindness.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays.

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/25/ame...memo-396233.php

<QUOTE>

Obama testifies for federal prosecutors

By Peter Baker Published: December 25, 2008

Every president for more than three decades has had to talk with federal prosecutors at one time or another. President-elect Barack Obama may have set a land speed record by giving his first interview to investigators even before taking the oath of office.

Obama sat down last week with four investigators looking into the alleged attempt to sell his former Senate seat. As a witness, rather than a target, Obama seems to have had an easier time with the experience than some of his predecessors. But it is certainly not the way he wanted to begin his presidency.

"Here the guy hasn't even gotten his tuxedo for the ball yet and already there's a prosecutor who wants to talk him," said Robert Bennett, one of Washington's most prominent lawyers who has represented members of Congress, cabinet secretaries and even former President Bill Clinton in all manner of politically charged cases. "It's the era that we live in."

Another reflection of the era is that Obama and his team evidently made no effort to avoid the interview. In the past, some presidents have cooperated with prosecutors or court proceedings only reluctantly, delaying or trying to limit the parameters of their involvement while expressing concern about their prerogatives as the head of the executive branch. But in recent years, the practice has grown so commonplace that Obama's aides said there was never any debate about whether he would answer questions.

"There was absolutely no hesitation whatsoever about making him available - none," said one person involved in the transition.

With no known legal exposure himself, of course, that was an easier decision for Obama. As a political matter, Obama, coming into office on promises of transparency and reform, may have had little choice but to cooperate, even if it meant disclosing the sorts of internal deliberations that presidents often guard jealously, like whether he wanted an adviser to serve on the White House staff or in the Senate.

In addition, a president-elect could have a harder time making a legal argument about shielding confidential discussions than a sitting president does. The concept of executive privilege, while not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, has been recognized by courts over the years, though it can be outweighed in such compelling circumstances as a criminal investigation. It is a matter of some debate among lawyers whether, as president-elect, Obama would have any claim to executive privilege.

Obama was interviewed on Dec. 18 at his Chicago transition office by two assistant U.S. attorneys and two agents from the FBI looking into alleged attempts by Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois to profit from his appointment of Obama's successor to the Senate. Obama was accompanied by his personal lawyer, Robert Bauer, and an associate, but not by Gregory Craig, who has been designated the new White House counsel, Obama advisers said.

The U.S. attorney in Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald, who is leading the investigation into Blagojevich, did not attend. The two-hour interview was not recorded or conducted under oath, although one FBI agent and Bauer's associate took copious notes, and it is a felony to lie to federal investigators even without being sworn in.

Obama answered every question posed and his lawyers made no objections, according to one adviser to the president-elect. Two of Obama's aides were interviewed separately and he made no effort to block his advisers from answering questions, as some past presidents have done. Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, brought his lawyer, W. Neil Eggleston, a prominent Washington attorney who was White House associate counsel under Clinton. Valerie Jarrett, named a senior presidential adviser, was accompanied by Vincent Connelly, a Chicago lawyer who was an assistant U.S. attorney.

Eggleston declined to comment Wednesday, and Connelly did not respond to an e-mail message.

The precedent of presidents agreeing to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities can be traced back 200 years to when Thomas Jefferson offered to provide testimony for use at the treason trial of his former vice president, Aaron Burr. James Monroe provided answers at the White House to questions for the court martial of an appointee. Ulysses S. Grant wanted to testify at the corruption trial of his secretary, but was talked out of it by his cabinet. Instead, he gave a deposition at the White House presided over by the chief justice.

But those were rarities until Watergate. Ever since, every president has been called to talk with the authorities, either as a witness or a subject. Gerald Ford provided videotaped testimony in the trial of a woman who tried to assassinate him. Jimmy Carter gave depositions or testimony in several proceedings against others. After leaving office Ronald Reagan provided videotaped testimony in the Iran-contra trial of an aide while George H. W. Bush was interviewed about the scandal while still vice president.

Clinton provided sworn testimony at least 10 times, according to David Kendall, his attorney in the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations. His testimony to the grand jury about his relationship with Lewinsky became the basis for an article of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives but later rejected by the Senate. President George W. Bush was interviewed by Fitzgerald for 70 minutes about the leak of a CIA officer's name.

With all that recent history, Obama had little choice but to agree to an interview, legal veterans said. "You could probably delay it as a good defense lawyer," said Bennett, who managed to push off Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton until after his 1996 re-election. "You could ask a court if there isn't any other alternative. What if he submits an affidavit? Why don't you send him written questions and see if his answers work?"

But Obama eventually would have to cooperate, Bennett added. "In the real world, at the beginning of an administration, he wouldn't want to start that way," he said. "He can see the headlines - here's the guy who talks about openness and transparency."

While Bennett said he was skeptical that a president-elect could claim executive privilege, Kendall said he thinks Obama would clearly be covered since he is in the process of building a White House. But he agreed that ultimately Obama would have to talk with investigators.

The important thing, Kendall said, would be to give the president-elect enough time to prepare with his lawyers so his testimony is as accurate as possible. If a president-elect, with so many issues on his plate, made an innocent mistake of recollection in his discussion with investigators, Kendall said, it would only cause more problems.

"This one doesn't feel to me like one where there's particular peril for the president-elect," Kendall said. "But you never know. And you have to have the time to adequately prepare it."

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123023389395233961.html

<QUOTE>

DECEMBER 28, 2008, 5:55 P.M. ET

Illinois Committee Won't Subpoena Obama Advisers

CHICAGO – The Illinois House committee probing a possible impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich won't subpoena two incoming White House advisers, the committee chairwoman said Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald asked the committee in a letter Friday not to subpoena President-elect Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Blagojevich's attorney had asked the committee earlier in the week to issue the subpoenas. Mr. Fitzgerald said any such subpoenas would interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation into Blagojevich's activities.

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie said Thursday that the House committee received a letter from Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson asking it to subpoena Mr. Emanuel, Ms. Jarrett and more than a dozen others, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Ms. Currie, the head of the committee, said she didn't yet know what the committee's response to Mr. Genson's request would be. However, she noted that the U.S. Attorney's office has already denied the panel's request to interview a list of people named in the criminal complaint against Mr. Blagojevich.

There was no immediate response Thursday to calls seeking comment from Mr. Genson, the Obama transition team and Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 and charged with trying to sell Mr. Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. He has denied any wrongdoing.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/article/blagojevich-na...0005x1201030183

<QUOTE>

Blagojevich Appointment Sets Off Dispute

By DEANNA BELLANDI, AP

CHICAGO (Dec. 31) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich created a new distraction for his state by making an appointment to the U.S. Senate even while he faces federal corruption charges for, in part, allegedly trying to sell the very seat he now is trying to fill.

Blagojevich tapped former state attorney general Roland Burris for the seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, thrusting the 71-year-old political veteran back in the spotlight and immediately in a corner.

The Illinois secretary of state said he won't certify the appointment of Burris, the lieutenant governor called the selection an insult, Senate Democrats won't seat him and even the president-elect was cold to the nomination.

"We believe in clean government, and Rod Blagojevich has unclean hands," said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who called Blagojevich's actions an "insult to the people of Illinois."

Blagojevich repeatedly sought to distance his surprise selection from his own woes. "Please don't allow the allegations against me to taint a good and honest man," the governor said Tuesday, turning to the smiling Burris standing by his side. "This is about Roland Burris as a U.S. senator, not about the governor who made the appointment."

For his part, Burris said he was "humbled to have the opportunity" and promised citizens he would "uphold the integrity of the office and ask for their continued confidence in me."

The choice injected race into the drama surrounding the Democratic governor. Burris, the first African-American elected to major statewide office in Illinois, would replace Obama, who had been the Senate's only black member.

Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat who was invited to speak at Blagojevich's news conference, urged Senate leaders not to block Burris. He told reporters that Senate Democrats should not "hang and lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer."

In an interview Wednesday, Burris didn't back away from Rush's assertion. "It is a fact, there are no African-Americans in the United States Senate," he said on NBC's "Today." ''Is it racism that is taking place? That's a question that someone may raise."

Democratic state Rep. Monique Davis of Chicago, a member of an impeachment committee considering Blagojevich's fate, said Burris' appointment will have no bearing on its decision.

"Anybody that wants to put the race card in there, they're playing with the wrong group of people. We're not going to operate that way, we're not going to deliberate that way, we're not going to say, 'Oh, look what a good thing he's done.' We're not going to do it," Davis said.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 after federal prosecutors allegedly recorded conversations in which he discussed appointing someone Obama favored in exchange for a position in the new president's Cabinet or naming someone favored by a union if he got a high-level union job.

The governor has faced a flood of calls for his resignation, and the Illinois House has begun impeachment proceedings. He maintains his innocence, and has vowed to stay in office.

Illinois law gives the governor sole power to fill a Senate vacancy. Lawmakers considered stripping Blagojevich of that power after his arrest, but could not agree on legislation.

In a statement Tuesday, Senate Democrats maintained that Blagojevich should not make the appointment because doing so would be unfair to Burris and to the people of Illinois.

"It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety," the statement said.

"Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic caucus."

Obama struck the same tone.

"Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision," the president-elect said in a statement.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who must certify the appointment, said he will not do so. But it's not clear whether White's refusal would be enough to prevent a Blagojevich appointment from taking effect.

Burris served as Illinois' comptroller from 1979 to 1991 and as the state's attorney general from 1991 to 1995. He also served as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.

More recently, however, Burris has had a string of political disappointments. He lost campaigns for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1994, 1998 and 2002 — the last time losing to Blagojevich. In 1995, he was badly beaten when challenging Chicago Mayor Richard Daley as an independent.

Associated Press writers Christopher Wills and John O'Connor in Springfield, Ill., Michael Tarm in Chicago and Anne Flaherty, Laurie Kellman and Matt Apuzzo in Washington contributed to this report.

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/article/lawmakers-near...1858x1201047447

<QUOTE>

Lawmakers Near Vote on Governor's Fate

AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Jan. 2) - The Illinois House could vote as early as next week on whether to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Illinois House has bumped up its schedule and will meet several days next week. They had been set to reconvene on Jan. 12.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the chamber may vote on a recommendation from the special committee studying whether Blagojevich should be impeached.

It would take a simple majority vote for the House to impeach — which basically means accusing him of misconduct.

Then the state Senate would hold a trial to determine if the governor is guilty. A conviction there requires a two-thirds majority.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on charges alleging he schemed to swap President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for profit.

<END QUOTE>

Good Day.... FYI............

http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2009...9308x1201047447

<QUOTE>

Burris to Head to Senate. Armed Guards Ready

By Liza Porteus Viana

Jan 2nd 2009

"No-drama" Barack Obama is sure to be cringing from the latest news about Roland Burris.

Burris, who was appointed by scandal-scarred Rod Blagojevich to take Obama's Senate seat, insists he doesn't want to "create a scene" when the Senate convenes next week and he, presumably, shows up for his new duties.

But no doubt there's going to be some sort of scene, and it could include guards with guns.

Chicago media outlets are reporting that Burris' lawyer is trying to force Ill. Secretary of State Jesse White to certify Blagojevich's paperwork making the appointment, even though White says he won't do it.

"Should Burris appear in Washington without that certification, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the Senate floor, said a Democratic official briefed on Senate leaders' plans. ...Leadership also is considering the possibility of Blagojevich appearing in person to escort Burris. Ironically, the scandal-plagued governor would be allowed onto the Senate floor, because sitting governors are allowed floor privileges, while Burris would not without certification. Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said the governor had not decided whether he will appear in Washington next week with Burris."

I would pay money to see the looks on senators' faces if/when Blagojevich himself had the gall to show up in Washington.

Two Democratic aides also told CNN that Burris will be turned away if he arrives for Tuesday's inauguration of new members.

From CNN:

"The first Democratic aide said if Burris tries to enter the Senate chamber on Tuesday, the Senate doorkeeper will stop him. If Burris were to persist, either trying to force his way onto the Senate floor or refusing to leave and causing a scene, U.S. Capitol police would stop him, the aide said. 'They [police] probably won't arrest him,' but they would call the Senate's sergeant-at-arms, the aide said."

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet also says Burris won't even step foot into the chamber.

"Roland Burris does not want to be in the face of the senators whose ranks he hopes to join, I am told," Sweet says, adding that he's still expected to show up Monday.

"He won't get into the chamber because the Senate Democratic leadership doesn't want anyone sent by Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama's seat for a plum job or campaign cash," Sweet writes. "I think Burris is underestimating how hard the Senate Democratic leaders are resisting his appointment. "

Sweet has learned the Senate will likely refer the issue to the Rules Committee, "where it will be handled as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible" to "make sure the appointment is stain-free."

While that's taking place, no doubt the Illinois House will speed up their part, moving forward with the Blagojevich impeachment proceedings. If Blagojevich is impeached sometime before February, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would be made governor and pick Obama's successor, then the Senate could decide between Burris and the new pick.

James R. Ferguson, a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago and a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, outlined in The Chicago Tribune today how exactly the House should forge ahead - by "adopting a two-step procedure to streamline the impeachment process."

That procedure would be to have the House impeachment committee draft articles of impeachment based on the evidence it and the FBI has gathered - ASAP. Then, after the House has approved those articles, the Illinois Senate should convene a trial and call only one witness to testify - Blagojevich himself.

"This approach would give Blagojevich a full and fair opportunity to present his side of the story, while promoting a speedy resolution of his status," Ferguson writes. It would eliminate the need for any further investigation and narrow the issues at the trial to the credibility of the governor's explanations. If his testimony proved to be implausible-or if he invoked the 5th Amendment and refused to testify-the affidavit and other evidence would stand as unrebutted proof of corruption."

Whatever process happens, it needs to happen fast. We can't have this Senate seat up in the air, or subject Burris to whatever shenanigans may occur to keep Blagojevich's pick out of Congress. Although I don't think Burris ever should have taken the job so willingly, he likely doesn't deserve to be publicly humiliated for it.

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Good Day.... FYI............

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/Blagoje.../02/167348.html

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Blagojevich's Security Clearance Revoked

Friday, January 2, 2009 10:30 PM

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has revoked embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich's access to classified federal security information, officials said Friday.

Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C., confirmed the revocation but declined to comment further on circumstances surrounding the decision.

The move withdraws the governor's access to classified information, although Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said other individuals within state and local government have access.

The revocation was "pretty standard procedure," Guerrero said.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency received a memo about the department's decision on Dec. 9, the day Blagojevich was arrested, said spokeswoman Patti Thompson. The memo was brief and did not include a reason for the action.

"It doesn't change day-to-day operations very much at all," she said. "Several other people, both with Homeland Security and law enforcement, are receiving that type of information on a regular basis."

Blagojevich did not normally receive briefings on homeland security matters, Thompson said. He would only be informed of high-profile cases, she said, citing examples such as a 2006 plot to blow up the Sears Tower and, the same year, plans to bomb planes flying between the U.S. and London.

The federal charges against Blagojevich include allegations that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat for money or a high-paying job. That triggered calls for his resignation and the beginning of impeachment proceedings in the Illinois Legislature.

Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing and has rejected calls to resign.

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Edited by Don Roberdeau
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Don,

Keep posting this stuff- some of us appreciate it.

We certainly need to give Obama a chance; after all, he hasn't even taken office yet. That being said, I have the same kind of reservations about him that I had about Clinton.

I expect to see more of these allegations from right-wing sources in the next four years, much as they came nonstop during the Clinton administration. The left-wing sources that produced the same kinds of allegations against Bush during his administration will now adopt a much more tolerant posture towards Obama, much as the right-wing sources adopted a much more tolerant posture towards Bush after Clinton left office.

And so the bogus "two party" game continues.

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