Friday, December 19, 2008

Immanuel’s Involvement with Blagojevich Deeper Than First Reported

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that “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... Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.”


Citing unnamed sources, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News is reporting that Rham Emmanuel has had only one direct conversation with Blagojevich. Immanuel had four conversations with Blagojevich chief aide John Harris:

“The sources add that the report will show Emanuel also had four phone calls with Blagojevich Chief of Staff John Harris. During those conversations, the Senate seat was discussed. The pros and cons of various candidates were reviewed, and the sources say that Emanuel repeatedly reminded Harris that Blagojevich should focus on the message the pick would send about the governor and his administration.

“Sources also confirm that Emanuel made the case for picking Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett during at least one of the conversations. In the course of that conversation, Harris asked if in return for picking Jarrett, "all we get is appreciation, right?" "Right," Emanuel responded.

“Bottom line: these sources say that Obama's report, which is expected to be released this week, will confirm what Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and President-Elect Obama have said -- and what Governor Blagojevich clearly believed: that Obama officials were not open to any kind of deal for the Obama Senate seat.”
A week earlier, Obama said that he found it “a little bit frustrating” that the report had not yet been released.

It is uncertain whether the sources cited in Stephanopoulos' report have seen the unreleased report or, indeed, whether the sources are connected with prosecutor Fitzgerald's office.

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