Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Fix: On Blagojevich, Senate Appointment Plans

In an article that summarizes - and attempts to clarify - the criminal complaint against Blagovich, Chris Cillizza of The Fix summarizes Blagojevich's plans to gain from the appointment to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Obama:

"Blagojevich was convinced that President-elect Barack Obama wanted senior adviser Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate seat and, time and again in the indictment, is quoted laying out a variety of scenarios by which he could benefit from such a move. The two most mentioned: 1) Trade a Jarrett appointment for a spot as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services in an Obama Cabinet 2) Name Jarrett to the Senate in exchange for Obama helping him to get a job as the head of Change to Win, a labor coalition.

• Blagojevich seriously -- and repeatedly -- considered naming himself to the Senate. 'Unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], [expletive deleted], I'll just send myself, you know what I'm saying,' Blagojevich said at one point. 'I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain,' he said later. He was -- inexplicably -- convinced that serving in the Senate might be a way to rehabilitate himself for a possible run for president in 2016. And, no, we are not kidding; it's on page 74 of the indictment."
In his news conference this morning Fitzgerald, in answer to a question about what Obama knew, said:
". . . if you look at the complaint, there is no allegation that the President Elect - there is no reference in the complaint to any conversations involving the President Elect, or indicating that the President Elect was aware of it. That's all I can say."

Full text of the DOJ Press Release
Criminal Complaint (PDF)
US DOJ Northern District Press Room
Complete transcript of the DOJ News Briefing
Full video of the FBI/DOJ news conference (C-SPAN, 49 minutes)

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