The Blago indictment describes a previously unreported failed extortion attempt of Congressman A. Congressman A seems to be Rahm Emanuel. If that’s true, then it means Rahm will be dragged into the trial (and discovery) of this case. But it also shows that he resisted Blago’s advances even before it became clear Blago was under suspicion for corruption.
Extorting Congressman A
The indictment describes this extortion attempt in 2006.
22. It was further part of the scheme that in or about 2006, after United States Congressman A inquired about the status of a $2 million grant for the benefit of a publicly-supported school, defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH instructed defendant HARRIS not to release the grant until further direction from ROD BLAGOJEVICH, even though ROD BLAGOJEVICH previously had agreed to support the grant and funding for the grant had been included in the state’s budget.
23. It was further part of the scheme that, in response to inquiries by a high-ranking state official as to whether the grant money could be released, defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed the official that ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted it communicated to United States Congressman A that United States Congressman A’s brother needed to have a fundraiser for ROD BLAGOJEVICH.
24. It was further part of the scheme that defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Lobbyist A that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was giving a $2 million grant to a school in United States Congressman A’s district and instructed Lobbyist A to approach United States Congressman A for a fundraiser.
25. It was further part of the scheme that after defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH learned from defendant HARRIS that the school had started to incur expenses that were to be paid with the grant funds, ROD BLAGOJEVICH initially resisted the release of the grant money, and then ultimately agreed to the release of certain of the grant funds to cover incurred expenses, but only on a delayed basis, even though no fundraiser had been held.
Note, it’s clear from the last paragraph that Congressman A did not hold a fundraiser for Blago, and that at least some funds were provided to the school in any case. So Congressman A definitely blew off Blago’s attempt at extortion.
Jesse Jackson Jr is Senate Candidate A
Congressman A does not appear to be Jesse Jackson Jr, another of the male Congressmen who got pitched during the Senate sale this year. We know JJJ had worked with Fitzgerald to expose two earlier attempted corruption schemes from Blago–a $25,000 scheme involving JJJ"s wife, and an attempt to open a third airport in Peotone, IL. But if JJJ had been a target of this third extortion attempt, why wouldn’t it have come out earlier when he revealed the earlier contacts?
Also, JJJ is mentioned elsewhere as Senate Candidate A.
It was further part of the scheme that on or about December 4, 2008, defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH instructed defendant ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH to contact a representative of Senate Candidate A, and advise the representative that if Senate Candidate A was going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat, some of the promised fundraising had to occur before the appointment.
It’s unlikely they would refer to JJJ as both Senate Candidate A and Congressman A.
Congressman A matches details on Rahm in the complaint
In addition to the attempted extortion in 2006, Congressman A is also described in context of the attempt to sell the Senate seat last year, specifically in regards to a demand to set up a 401(c)4 in exchange for the appointment of a Senate candidate.
On or about November 13, 2008, at Chicago, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere,
defendant herein, for the purpose of executing the above-described scheme, did knowingly cause to be transmitted by means of wire and radio communication in interstate commerce signals and sounds, namely a phone call between ROD BLAGOJEVICH in Chicago, Illinois, and Advisor B in Michigan (Session 624), in which they discussed presenting to United States Congressman A a proposal by ROD BLAGOJEVICH that a not-for-profit organization be set up and that the connection between setting up this organization and the awarding of the U.S. Senate seat would be "unsaid”;