Welcome back, Blago. It’s been a while.
What took you so long to shed light on the intrigue among Obama, Rahm Emanuel and SEIU regarding the Senate appointment to replace Obama:
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers asked a federal judge Thursday to force President Obama to testify at Blagojevich’s upcoming trial, as new information surfaced — accidentally — that Obama personally called a mutual supporter to discuss his replacement in the U.S. Senate.
On the day before he was elected president, then-Sen. Obama called a union official about the possibility that adviser Valerie Jarrett replace him in the Senate, according to Blagojevich’s defense filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago and sources close to the investigation.
The filing also claims that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had many contacts with Blagojevich’s staff pushing for various candidates, purportedly on the president’s behalf.
At one point after Jarrett dropped out of contention, Emanuel called Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris with an urgent message — recommending against the appointment of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., according to the filing, which also said Emanuel did push for Urban League President Cheryle Jackson.
The court filing cites statements made by Service Employees International Union official Tom Balanoff to the FBI as part of its criminal investigation of the since-ousted governor.
The statements, as well as Obama’s personal phone call, had not previously been made public and were filed by defense lawyers in the case under seal.
It’s unclear from the limited information released (accidentally, for sure) exactly what role Obama played, and who is telling the truth.
Put Obama on the witness stand, so we can hear his version ourselves, rather than second-hand. If he has nothing to hide, then he has nothing to hide. (I doubt the judge will do it, but you can’t take my hope away.)
Regardless, there are enough juicy details (including Tony Rezko’s apparent claim that he knowingly made illegal cash campaign contributions to Obama) to get me refocused on l’affaire Blagojevich.
So Blago’s back, and so am I.
Update: Jill just couldn’t resist:
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And neither could Bill Dyszel: