Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Governor Rod Blagojevich Has Been Arrested

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested on corruption charges.

He was caught on FBI wiretaps just within the past few weeks.... wiretaps that (if he had a brain) he had to have known were likely put in place for the other accusations he faced. How stupid can this man be? Apparently he was caught attempting to sell Obama's open Senate seat.

Meanwhile.....Obama's FBI briefing has been Cancelled!

Apparently Rezko did a lot of talking about Blagojevich as part of his agreement with the Court.

From the Politico:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was captured on tape saying that unless he received “something real good” for the appointment of a top adviser to Barack Obama to fill the president-elect’s Senate seat he would appoint himself, according to the criminal complaint.

“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], s***, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, added that the Senate seat “is a f***ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Continue reading the Politico report

Patrick Fitzgerald - a Federal Prosecutor who no politician should ever want to face off with - is doing a number on Blagojevich. In addition to being really really stupid Blago is also turning out to be one of the most corrupt politicians in modern history.

One of the subjects of the wiretapped phone calls was apparently a member of Obama's new White House staff.

A major part of the Chicago (and State of Illinois) political machine has been toppled today....and it's not clear how much (if at all) Obama will be ensnared in all this. I had been following the story of Blago's corruption scandal off and on for the past few months...and apparently this was a huge investigation....involving a lot of people. The net was apparently pretty wide. We shall see.

More Updates to Come Throughout the Day


See a copy of the official criminal complaint (pdf)

I'm still reading through the court papers... tons of charges

See report from the UK Times

See a timeline of the investigation from the Chicago Tribune


"Feel Free To Tape My Conversations" -- Blago just a day before his arrest.


He also states... "I have nothing but Sunshine hanging over me".

Well Blago... it looks like you will have more than Sunshine hanging over you... in Prison. Perhaps a new boyfriend will be hanging over you... under you...and all around you in that cage. That's if they don't send you to one of those fancy low security College Dorm prisons....also known as "Club Fed".

And then he says.... (paraphrasing) "any efforts by others to record him and get him on something smells like Nixon and Watergate" Well Blago.... It's actually YOU who smells like Nixon and Watergate. You and your Chief of Staff John Harris.

This guy is unbelievable!


The Official Press Conference with Patrick Fitzgerald, announcing the arrest.

See video of Fitzgeralds Full Statement


"If Illinois is not the most corrupt State in the Country it is certainly one hell of a competitor" - FBI SAC Robert Grant (See clip)


Illinois State Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.


A silver lining for Obama in all of this?

Reports suggest that Obama "would not play ball" in Blagojevich's scheme....and that Raum Emmanuel may have aided Federal authorities.

Well I would hope that they wouldn't be stupid enough to take part in this...especially at this point. Common sense would tell you not to get involved with someone who is likely under FBI surveillance and possibly being wiretapped. It just shows that they (unlike Blago) had enough brains to recognize the obvious.


rikyrah said...

Have I not said that Rezko would send folks to jail...

that Blago was at the top of the list..

and that Obama wasn't on it?

I do believe I've been saying this for months.

Brian said...

Regardless of whether Obama was on the list or not (and we aren't 100% sure yet), this can't be good for Obama. It will be a distraction..and new Red meat for Republicans. The blogs and Right Wing Republican Echo Chambers (AM radio programs) are lighting up right now.

Obama did the smart thing of distancing himself from Rezko and Blago back during the Summer, when it became clear that something was amiss.

And the fact that Daschle was appointed to HHS is a good sign.

It doesn't look as if Obama was on the original list (although he did participate in the trial). Court documents might have mentioned him by now... but then again, Fitzgerald and the Court have been using all these damn code names... no one knows for sure who's who.

But apparently a lot has happened over the last month or two.... (the period where Rezko began talking).

rikyrah said...

I've tried writing to folks who just don't seem to get it:

Obama is no innocent, but considering that he's been involved in Chicago and Illinois politics - he's one of the cleanest to come from Illinois.

You'd have to understand Chicago and Illinois to understand how many bullets he dodged.

He was never an Alderman.
He was never a Committeeman.
He was never a Cook County Board Commissioner.
(ALL of these are roads filled with bribes, and a tape recording sometime in the future).

He WAS a State Senator, and not in the State House. In the State Senate, he found a Black man willing to mentor him politically.

In the State House, he would have been sent out into the field to toil for Massa Michael Madigan.

Even though he was a prolific State Senator, he wasn't part of Senate Leadership. (which had the hookups to the committees, and the appointment of contracts).

He LOST the Congressional race to Bobby Rush ( a stroke of luck that he would thank later.)

By the time Obama got SERIOUS power - as a U.S. Senator - he could be 'detached' from Illinois politics, and set up levels of barriers between him and the serious crooks.

That's why I LOL at folks who wanted him to run for Governor of Illinois. - HELL NO - wayyy too many opportunities to find people that can trip you up.

Truthiz said...

Thus far, 2 things jump out at me:

1. Blagojevich is a real piece of work. The man definitely is more suited to a life as the “Don” of an organized crime family.

2. Blagojevich’s arrogance, insanity and impulsivity went into overdrive upon the realization that Obama wasn’t going to “pay-to-play”.

Is Barack Obama a “saint”_ “pure as the driven snow”?

No, of course not. But he's not a "criminal" either.

He is a learned and very skilled politician who cut his teeth, if you will, as a student of American History, government and politics_in particular, the U.S. Constitution and Chicago politics.

Yes, he’s long been aware “Of” the game. But no evidence has ever been presented showing he's ever been a “player” IN the game.

And therein lie the difference, from my perspective.

His “association” to Blagojevich _the sitting Governor of his home-state_ appears to have been limited to their official roles in public office and within the Democratic party.

As per the Chicago Tribune:

“Blagojevich and Obama have never been close, and Blagojevich is quoted in the affidavit as frequently speaking of the president-elect with profanity and scorn. But there is an overlap among some of their top political confidants.

Axelrod ran Blagojevich's successful 1996 campaign for a Northwest Side U.S. House seat, though the two later had a falling-out. When Blagojevich was elected governor in 2002, his replacement in Congress was Rahm Emanuel, now Obama's designee as chief of staff. Emanuel and Blagojevich have since worked closely on several initiatives.”

Federal prosecutor, Fitzgerald, is a man who plays no favorites. By all accounts he knows his job and his does it well.

Fitzgerald went out of his way to make clear that NO evidence of wrong-doing has been linked to Obama.

Is this story a "distraction" for Obama right now? Yes.

But I actually think, as this sorry mess continues to unfold, there’s a real possibility that Obama's refusal to “play” the game could end up boosting his stature in the eyes of many Americans who are NOT soCon reich wingers.

OTOH: Jesse Jackson Jr may have some explaining to do..?

Well, we shall see.

Truthiz said...

For the record: In terms of politics/policies, Jesse Jackson Jr. is too "leftists" for my taste.

Thought I'd better admit that up front :)


I watched Jesse Jr's press conference addressing the Blagojevich’s “pay-to-play” scheme and I must say that I wasn’t impressed.

But that doesn’t make him “guilty” of any wrong-doing. Absent any concrete evidence, it’s all speculation.

However!!! I wouldn’t put it past his DADDY to have tried to pull strings behind his back to secure that Senate seat for Jr.

I’m not saying that the "Rev" was involved in this.

I’m simply saying I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out that he was.