Obama team's Blago report due Tuesday

The promised detailing of the contacts with the scandal-plagued Illinois governor reportedly exonerates Rahm Emanuel, among others.


Alex Koppelman
December 22, 2008 10:20PM (UTC)

A report on the Obama team's contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich regarding the president-elect's vacant Senate seat is due to be released on Tuesday, according to multiple media outlets.

The report was completed earlier, but delayed at the request of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is leading the prosecution of Blagojevich. Obama has said the internal investigation shows his aides had no "inappropriate" dealings with the governor.

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Rahm Emanuel, who's due to become White House chief of staff next month, has been the most frequently discussed member of the president-elect's team since word of the scandal broke. The Associated Press reports:

Emanuel contacted Blagojevich's office about the appointment, according to a source close to the governor who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak on the matter. Blagojevich believed Emanuel was advocating Obama friend Valerie Jarrett for the Senate seat so he would not have to compete with her for Obama's attention in the White House, the source said.

It was not known whether Emanuel, a Chicago-area congressman, spoke to Blagojevich, his chief of staff, or both, or why the governor believed Emanuel was pushing Jarrett for the job, the source said.

It's also not known if any of those discussions are included in tapes investigators began making of Blagojevich's conversations in October. A federal complaint charging the governor with seeking cash and favors for Obama's vacant Senate seat doesn't cite conversations with Emanuel or others on the transition staff.

An official familiar with Obama's internal review said the president-elect's team wrote their report without having access to transcripts of the FBI's taped conversations.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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