Diary

Fallout

Okay, lot’s of stuff is getting really, really interesting when it comes to the aftermath of the Blagojevich scandal. First, we have this:

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.

[. . .]

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.

Emanuel refused–rather brusquely, as the story points out–to answer any questions concerning this issue. He can run, but he can’t hide and the press had better be working to smoke him–and the rest of the transition team–out.

Perhaps Blagojevich might help in the smoking out process. He is, after all, considering an early resignation. That, plus a promise to reveal names of more potential targets for Patrick Fitzgerald to fire proton torpedoes at, might get Blagojevich some leniency.

Some people may be concerned as a result of this scenario. They should be.

Oh, and note in the CBS Chicago story that Lt. Governor Pat Quinn has said that he might consider appointing a Republican. I’m not betting the house on that happening but if it does, Republicans will laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and . . .

Speaking of canaries:

A footnote to the 76-page criminal complaint and affidavit charging Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) with soliciting bribes confirms what has long been rumored — that a former longtime friend and fundraiser for President-elect Barack Obama is talking to federal prosecutors in hopes of a reduced sentence.Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s offer to provide authorities with evidence of others’ wrongdoing is “not complete,” and prosecutors are working to corroborate the claims he has made so far, the footnote said.

Rezko, a 53-year-old developer, was convicted in June of 16 criminal counts, including fraud, money laundering and abetting bribery. He is in custody awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors depicted Rezko at trial as a fixer for Blagojevich and the man to see to secure a high-level appointment with the governor’s administration. Rezko had been a longtime fundraiser for Blagojevich and other Illinois politicians, including Obama.

As the story states, there appears to be no targeting of the President-elect. I don’t expect anything to happen to Barack Obama personally. But who know what might happen next in this story? I don’t believe for a moment that the twists and turns of the story are done twisting and turning.