Press Conference of Fitz Blago Liveblog

picture-66.pngAh. Liveblogging Pat Fitz again. (Though it’ll be weird to liveblog watching his face, rather than the bald spot on the back of his head, which is what we got to see in the Libby trial.)

The press conference will start 7 minutes late. 

In the meantime, here’s my question for Fitz (not like he’ll answer it). Local Chicago press is reporting that Rahm Emanuel reported Blago after someone approached the Obama folks about who he wanted for the Senate seat. In other words, yes, Rahm may well be the good guy here, and Obama couldn’t be cleaner. Is that true?

Fitz up, introducing the guys involved. He’s not wearing his lucky blue tie.

Sad day for government. Blago taken us to a new low. Political corruption crime spree. Most appalling conduct is attempt to sell the Senate seat he had the sole right to appoint to replace Pres-Elect Obama. 

Back 8 weeks ago we had the following environment. A known investigation, recent trial.

Blago working feverishly working with contractors. $8 M project announced. Trying to get someone raise $100,000 in contributions. After being aware that pay-to-play scheme, decision made to use more extraordinary means. Bug placed in campaign office and home telephone. 

In addition to pay-to-play, we were surprised to learn of extortionist attempt against the Trib.  Blago and COS schemed to send a message to the Tribune company that the price of doing so was to fire certain editors. "Get them the bleep out of there, get us some editorial support."

Most appalling behavior that Blago tried to sell the seat vacated by Pres-elect Obama. Lincoln would roll over in his grave. "It’s a bleeping valuable thing. You just don’t give it away for nothing." Tapes reveal that Blago wanted a number of things: HHS, Ambassadorship, higher paying job for his wife, union job. He thought union might get benes from Pres-elect. 

Complaint makes no allegations about Pres-elect.

This lost when Pres-elect’s candidate took herself out of the running.

In another event, somebody else approached the governor. In government’s view, they were approached by intermediaries. Blago was worried that the contributions would actually be paid.  He wanted the money "up front." "Some of this stuff’s gotta start happening now, right now." "You gotta be careful how to express that, assume the whole world is listening." That’s the governor of Illinois. Finally, the governor talked about appointing himself to the Senate seat. He wanted to do it to avoid impeachment.

We need to do the investigation now that it is overt.  

[Basically going to try to figure out who was playing in the pay to play for the Senate. He’s not done–not at all.]

In all seriousness, we have times when people decry corruption. Wide ranging schemes. If the people felt uncomfortable they ought to come forward. We’re already quite heartened by the number of people who have come forward today. There’s a lot we don’t know and need to know. We ask that the press, in particular, recognize that we’re not casting aspersion on the other people mentioned on this. 

FBI guy: A new low for Illinois. I did not answer whether Illinois is the most corrupt state in the US. If it isn’t the most corrupt state in the US, it is certainly one hell of a competitor. The FBI agents were thoroughly disgusted by what they heard. 

Fitz: There were a lot of things imminent. There’s a bill waiting to be signed, based on whether a hospital’s CEO coughed up a campaign contribution. An editor waiting to get fired. When there were layoffs, conversations about whether that editor was fired. A governor, the only one looking for more layoffs. Add it to the fact that we have a Senate seat auctioned off to the highest bidder. Blago’s own words talked about selling this like a sport’s agent. We stepped in for a number of reasons. In the middle of a corruption crime spree, and stepped in to stop it.

Journalist: You said not to cast aspersions. Does that mean they’re beyond blame?

Fitz: We never give clean bills of health. What I’m trying to do is explain caution about what’s on the tapes. We’re going to do an investigation about what was said about other people on the tapes. There may be people who had no idea what was going on. Some things will be black and white, some things will be shades of gray. What they understand when they’re scheming. We’d like to see what schemes were carried out, who made contributions, we’d like people to take what we say with a grain of salt. If other people did wrong, we’ll deal with that. 

Journalist: Blago will walk out today, he will still have the power to appoint the Senate seat.

Fitz: We make no allegations about what the Pres-elect is aware of or not.

Journalist: You intervened bc of something that was going to happen. He still has the power to do it.

Fitz: If I were someone who wanted to pay to play, I think this would be about the worst time to engage in this kind of action. I was not going to wait until March or April and say, btw, all this bad stuff happened in December. We will expose criminal conduct to let people know we’re on to it. 

Journalist: Should the gov step aside?

Fitz: We’re not entitled to any view. What happens in the legislation is not for us. 

Fitz: If the charges are true, it’s an appalling thing. We need people in the public to stand up and say "enough." We’re not going to end corruption in Illinois by arrests and corruption alone. What’s going to make a difference is when people are approached to pay to play, they come forward.

Journalist: It’s conceivable that Trib was considering–or forced to consider–what Blago had in mind?

Fitz: Not making claim about Trib.  We’re not describing about mindset of Zell’s mind.

Journalist: What does this say about Durbin’s request for commutation for Ryan?

Fitz: To extent office has a view in Ryan pardon, we’ll express that privately. Power of pardon and commutation rests with president, don’t make a practice of commenting.

Fitz: we cite a statute, sole discretion of governor of Illinois. Constitution leaves it to states to replace Senators. Illinois puts it in sole hands of governor. 

Journalist: When pols get together and cut deals, where is the line between cutting a political deal and selling a US Senate seat?

Fitz: When you start having quid pro quo. If you tell someone, one conversation describes how gov wanted job at union, couldn’t just be given to him, bc union already has that job. When you want to work for half million dollars, we’re comfortable in the law that someone who schemes to do that is criminal. Doing it in way that is clearly criminal.

Fitz: No comment on whether we attempted to interview him.

Journalist; Describe arrest?

FBI Guy: 6AM morning, phone call to me and gov, advising we had warrant, 2 FBI agents outside the door, asked him to open the door to do without media, waking children. Handcuffed. I woke him up. First question was, "was this a joke." Children not awake, beginning to stir.

Journalist: Why decision to make the arrest.

FBI Guy: we learned a lot from this wiretap.  It wasn’t about tying this in a bow. Letting things be done to damage Ill. It was about what was good for the iJounvestigation. Goes beyond governor to people involved in this scheme. 

Journalist: Did the Tribune report interrupt the call?

Fitz: Trib called us to confirm story, we asked the Trib to hold on that story, "I have to take my hat off that the Tribune withheld that story for a substantial time." Later that story did run, and we were recording after that story. Days before Blago was intercepted telling his fundraiser to talk as if the whole world is listening. After the story ran, we got a different conversation that was "undo what you just did." We ought to credit the Chicago Trib. They didn’t agree to all our request. I respect what they did.

Journalist: You’re always careful to separate politics and law enforcement. Governor still has powers to appoint US Senator. Would people of IL be well-served for a quick session.

Fitz: Enough people here who can weigh in with their opinions.

Fitz: Investigation continues. 

Journalist: Is it safe to say Obama has not been briefed? Any calls to Obama or Emanuel?

Fitz: Never going to speak in voice of President or President-elect. No reference to any conversations involving Pres-elect or involving any awareness of it.

Fitz: No anticipation of contentiousness on bond. Judge Nolan should hear what our opinion is through telling directly, not your reporting. 

Fitz: Very disturbing that these pay to play allegations picked up steam after a conviction and ethics legislation.

Journalist: Candidate took herself out of consideration: Was that Schakowsky?

Fitz: Not going to confirm.

Journo: Did you have conversation with AG or someone close to him on wiretap?

Fitz: Wiretaps and bugs, procedure we follow is well-known. FBI boss in Chicago, my office, Washington to OEO. They are the people who review applications for wiretaps and bugs. They know how to say yes and no.  After approved goes up to high ranking officials in Crim, then to Chief judge in district. DAG, FBI Director are not going to drop their coffee finding out about this for the first time. We kept them in the loop.

Journo: Is discussing a quid pro quo different from carrying it out. How much is being a tough guy, and how much is carrying it out?

Fitz: Scheming versus carrying out crime. It is a crime to scheme to carry out a crime. Acting like a tough guy is a crime. We can sort through at a trial, but it is a crime to shake someone down. 

Journo: Would Obama have gotten briefed on this?

Fitz: It was a very close hold.

Journo: How many calls today?

Fitz: We already got one in–it was heartening.

Fitz: Union he discussed was Change to Win, SEIU.  That scheme never came to fruition. He later curses that it didn’t come to fruition.

Journo: Search warrant? Friends of Blago campaign HQ and Deputy Governor’s office.

Journo: If it’s against the law to trade a job, is it also illegal to buy one?

Fitz: we charged Blago and Harris, and that’s all we’re saying.

Fitz: Discussion of Rezko’s testimony in a footnote, that summarizes his status [footnote says Rezko’s testimony doesn’t always correlate with others’]

[Randy cutting it short] Hey Randy!

Journo: How far did the Tribune plot go?

Fitz: Not going to say, that person was not fired. We don’t go beyond that. Not going to opine what happened after the conversation left Blago and Harris.

Journo: Is it possible that anyone appointed by Blago without a cloud over their head?

Fitz: Not going to get into where things stand on senate seat. Public discourse will go forth without our guidance.

179 replies
  1. Leen says:

    raw story
    Obama had been scheduled to meet with the Chicago FBI Tuesday morning before proceeding to a meeting with Vice President Al Gore, but that meeting was suddenly canceled, according to a pool report. It’s unclear whether the meeting or its cancellation was related to the governor’s arrest.….._1209.html

  2. Leen says:

    Fitz “wide ranging scheme” Co-operation outside of law enforcement “encourage people to talk to us”

  3. Leen says:

    EW hope someone ask your question. When will you get into that press room as the Rep for progressive blogs?

  4. eCAHNomics says:

    Fitz up, introducing the guys involved. He’s not wearing his lucky blue tie.

    Maybe Fitz wears a blue tie when going after Rs and a red tie when going after Ds.

  5. Leen says:

    fitz “the worse time” to pay to play. Ongoing criminal conduct bring light so that the criminal contact stops

    In the public stand up and say “enough”

  6. Hugh says:

    What amazes me is that Blagojevich was scheming in part to become Secretary of Health and Human Services. Now in one way this makes sense because he has tried to extend health coverage to children and allow importation of cheaper medications from abroad. But in another HHS would have been a huge piggybank for Blago.

  7. Neil says:

    Fitz lowers the boom on brazen pay to play government corruption. Time for campaign finance reform anyone… still.

  8. eCAHNomics says:

    siri @ 26
    Fitz is definitely a solid citizen (in my binary: solid citizen/flake categorization of people). Very disciplined.

  9. plunger says:

    Investigation/sting stopped short before money changed hands for Senate Seat.


    Did Bank Of America pressure anyone to get Governor off their backs after prior days press conference?

    Why today?

  10. ThingsComeUndone says:

    This kind of thing happens all the time in Illinois its amazing how many politicians have wives, sons, bothers working in government or for people who got government contracts.
    Its no worse than politically connected people giving G.W Bush a do nothing Ghost Payroll job because his Dad was President.
    What I find interesting is the timing Bank of America sure does have a lot of friends in high places.
    Who is up to take Blago’s spot?

    • Hugh says:

      The Lieutenant Governor is Pat Quinn a fairly progressive Democrat. But it is unclear short of conviction or impeachment how to get Blago to out of office at the moment.

      • Petrocelli says:

        Doesn’t he have to step down while the investigation is ongoing ?

        another case like Ted Stevens ?

      • foothillsmike says:

        Couldn’t they just keep him in jail by not giving him bail so he couldn’t do any damage. He is going to jail anyhow>

        • Hugh says:

          Couldn’t they just keep him in jail by not giving him bail so he couldn’t do any damage. He is going to jail anyhow>

          He is has the right to petition for bail and there would be no reason not to give it to him.

          • foothillsmike says:

            Couldn’t a case be made that he could do damage to the public if allowed out have sway with the judge determining bail.

            • Hugh says:

              IANAL but I think that is what his trial is supposed to determine so to argue at a bail hearing would be to prejudge his prosecution.

              • Petrocelli says:

                If that fails, Wells is expected to burst into the courtroom, crying, “Give my Libby Blago back to me !”

    • pajarito says:

      I worked in TX gov’t. Every politico’s relative (son, daughter, niece, nephew…)worked in state government. Most not real apparent what the work was. They were called must-hires. Some were actually good at work. Some, didn’t bother to show up most of the time.

      It goes on everywhere.

  11. Hugh says:

    The FBI called in advance, woke Blago up, and told him a couple of agents were on their way over to arrest him. Not very convincing why they didn’t just inform him and let him turn himself in.

  12. chunyang says:

    I love how he separated out “political horsetrading” from actual,personal dealing for his own benefit – after all the Bush apologists muttering about criminalizing politics, at least Fitz still knows the difference. Blago is just the stupidest person ever, given the quotes they use.

    I would bet some in Alaska wish they could get him appointed to investigate THEIR governor.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Sarah was treated very nice when she was investigated her own statements during the investigation now that its over are still not being leaked to the press.
      Blago’s statements before trial are being leaked to the press even though the police and prosecutor are the only ones who have them.
      I thought releasing stuff like this would prejudice a jury?
      Or is that only for Republicans?

  13. ThingsComeUndone says:

    How is selling a Senate seat for cash and jobs any different than how we choose ambassadors? Or boards of Directors at big companies Blago had to be stopped because of Bank of America.

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    Wow, all I can say is that Blagojevich is one stupid… I’m stumped at what expletive to use. He’s an insult to expletives everywhere.

    • Leen says:

      Fitz “the worse time to pay to play” Blago “the whole world is watching” and listening. Damn stupid

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Blagojevich is one stupid… I’m stumped at what expletive to use. He’s an insult to expletives everywhere.

      Och! And I thought that I only needed some new expletives for the Republican malice…

      If skdadl’s around and has any extra pairs of ‘paws and whiskers’, I need a few extra to rub in sheer amazed bafflement. Mamma mia…!

      • skdadl says:

        I just caught up, rOTL. I am agape and agog. I’ve been doing more “Ye gods and little fishes!” than paws and whiskers today.

        I watched the Fox/Chicago livestream instead of trying to jump in here because The Boy just talks so fast that I lose too much if I’m switching back and forth. I don’t know how EW does it.

        Anyway, he has me convinced, but then I’m a softie that way.

        Now I think I’m supposed to be listening to a presser wherein Michael Ignatieff becomes leader of the opposition here. Oh, great. As a friend said this morning, that gives us a choice between Harper and Harper-Lite.

        So watching Fitz again after such a long time was really a tonic, given the last few weeks of Canadian politics.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Oh, my deepest sympathies on your Harper woes!
          And yes, Fitz was a bit of a tonic.
          Well, off to scout out a few more paws, while also keeping a sharp eye for some new expletives — mine are all so outworn after 8 years of BushCheney… (sigh).

          I’m looking fondly on Rahm today; must find a thermometer to check my temp; the prospect of actual integrity in government — self-defensive, or not — is more than my system can manage after so many years of depravity and malfeasance.

          ….wow… ‘integrity‘… I can still spell that word!

          • freepatriot says:

            also keeping a sharp eye for some new expletives — mine are all so outworn after 8 years of BushCheney… (sigh).

            really ???

            presnit bunnypants inspired me to create hundreds of new expletives in the past 8 years

            if you’re in the market, I’ll send you our catalog

            we got a special offer, emptywheel readers get a 10% discount this month


            and if the State of Illinois is interested, the State of California could provide them with a few thousand COMPETENT criminals, it’s the only thing we got a surplus of …

        • rosalind says:

          skdadl, do you get The Daily Show? their opening bit last night was “Provinces in Peril” and is really funny.

          here’s a link to the show’s website where you can watch the segment.


          • skdadl says:

            Rosalind, I’ve been hearing about that segment today and just haven’t had a chance to watch yet. I will toddle off soon to do that. For copyright reasons, we have to switch to a different site here to see the show — Jon, why are you so mean to Canadians? *wink*

            And hi, Petro @ 162. I hope that your family and friends are all ok. Yes, Iggy has said grandly that he will face the party in May so that they can confirm his leadership — *skdadl rolls eyes* — but we all know how these things work, eh? Not that I’m a Rae fan either. Heck — I’m not a Liberal. Why am I worried about these guys? Well, because unless they get their act together soon, teh coalition is going nowhere, and we got trouble, right here in River City.

            • Petrocelli says:

              Thanks, my family members are safe but I’ve lost a few friends. The ones who survived and the people of Mumbai are still shell shocked.

              I’m still hoping that McKenna will unite the Left … amazing to see that Layton has a stronger presence than either Rae or Iggy … where are the strong Libruls ?

        • Petrocelli says:

          G’day skdadl !

          Iggy would be interim leader until the Convention in May, right ?

          Rae hasn’t removed himself from that, has he ?

    • MrWhy says:

      If Blagojevich tried to shake down Obama/Emmanuel back in November, and Obama didn’t report him to the FBI, then there was always a possibility of blowback. Emmanuel/Obama didn’t have a choice but to report Blagojevich.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Plus, anyone who screws up a Children’s Hospital project for personal wealth deserves a long, soul-searching visit to a stern judge.
        Plus, telling the Chicago Trib to fire its editors!?
        What a thug.

      • JimWhite says:

        I’m still thinking that since the wiretaps on Blago started before the election, Obama may have been made aware of it during briefings, possibly even before the election. [It seems like a national security issue to me to keep him away from tapped lines involving someone he would have good reason to communicate with.] At any rate, since it was such public knowledge that Blago was under intense scrutiny, Team Obama should have at least assumed the line was tapped and would have no choice but to report the shake-down attempt. Their move of Jarrett to another position so quickly just confirms that they knew Blago was poison.

  15. yellowsnapdragon says:

    Blago will still appoint senator per Fitz. If he still can appoint senator, the he can probably still make the decision on BoA.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Blago will still appoint senator per Fitz. If he still can appoint senator, the he can probably still make the decision on BoA.

      Great the Right choice on Bank of America is his ticket out of jail once the trial has been delayed for years.

  16. JohnJ says:

    We have 10 years of the repug corruption and all we get is a Dem?

    I’m not questioning the veracity, but are the repugs too well protected or what?

    • Kassandra says:

      We have 10 years of the repug corruption and all we get is a Dem?

      I’m not questioning the veracity, but are the repugs too well protected or what?

      I can’t agree with you more on this. Where are the Bush wiretaps? or anybody else in the most criminal administration in US history?
      This guy is scum, but so are the rest of them; all part of the Bush “culture of corruption”.
      Sounds like a bit of grandstanding is going on here with the FBI and all. Media circus stuff. Will it be enuff to implement NSPD 51?

      Gad, I ‘m nervous! Better go have another cuppa!

  17. siri says:

    can’t find the link right now, but Blago saying something about not wanting to remain “stuck in the dead end job of Governor…..” or some such thing.
    i bet THAT endeared him to his constituents who voted for him

    • Hugh says:

      p. 74 for the complaint:

      116. In addition, in the course of the conversations over the last month, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat, and has expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including frustration at being “stuck” as governor, a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor, and a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016, avoid impeachment by the Illinois legislature, make corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office, facilitate his wife’s employment as a lobbyist, and assist in generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

  18. Quebecois says:

    I can’t watch, tell me, is Fitz’s body language and level of comfort the same as when he was discussing Scooter’s accusations???

    • Petrocelli says:

      He appears quite peeved and certainly more aggressive … more damning evidence against Blago than against Libby.

      Wontcha love this to lead back to OVP ?

    • eCAHNomics says:

      I don’t remember Fitz’s body language wrt Libby complaint presser, but Fitz seems pretty confident & comfortable on this one. If you can listen, Fitz’s outrage comes across subtly in his tone of voice.

  19. kdh22 says:

    The Illinois Republicans can’t wait to present impeachment articles against Gov. Hair. There is literally a full-fledged party going on here in Illinois at the news of his arrest. Even the Chicago Dems have distanced themselves from Blago in recent months so if Emanuel did drop the hammer on the Gov, it wouldn’t be surprising. Additionally, look for Mike Madigan to make a strong case for his daughter, AG Lisa Madigan, to take the vacant Obama senate seat.

    Illinois politics…what an institution!

    • mack says:

      Additionally, look for Mike Madigan to make a strong case for his daughter, AG Lisa Madigan, to take the vacant Obama senate seat.

      We could do worse.
      And she would make the Senior Senator from Illinois look tall.

  20. Leen says:

    so do they start bugging after someone tips them off? How do they select who to “wiretap and bug”?

    Amazing that Emmanuel would have never been bugged for questionable deals?

  21. siri says:

    here it is.
    the FBI doc.
    “Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being “stuck” as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife’s employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.”


  22. Neil says:

    AP Headline:

    A US attorney said Rod Blagojevich went on
    a political corruption crime spree
    in attempting to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder

    Fitz’s gracious kudos to the Tribune for their willingness to cooperate by not publishing a story despite his office not being able to share information about the case is an interesting ongoing issue in our democracy.

    Separately, our newspapers are going broke.

    I lied awake at night worrying about whether Tribute editors would be fired.” – Fitz

    Difference between criminal complaint and an indictment? Criminal complaint can be used for an arrest. Grand Jury must indict?

  23. Arbusto says:

    One hope, small as it is, that anyone stupid and/or corrupt enough to accept an appointment from Blago, would lose an election in 2010. I’m sure Blago wouldn’t recognize that though.

    • kdh22 says:

      There are ways, over the next year and a half, of diluting the fact that Blago appointed the new Senator. We have ways here of doing such things. Blago may not even be in a position to select the replacement. The pricipal responsible for that act remains to be determined.

  24. Leen says:

    Fitz “when it is on tape you are stuck with it”

    Seems to be selective tape releases. Why do we get to hear exactly what was on these tapes and not the F.B.I’s tapes having to do with the Rosen/Weissman espionage Aipac tapes? No one in the MSM or progressive blogosphere is touching that investigation, and 5 time delayed trial.

    “The two allegedly relayed to Kessler the classified information about the imminent Iranian attack, and then allegedly referred to an “Official Secrets Act.” The government contends that proves Rosen knew he was breaking the law.Sources close to Rosen’s defense say he was making an off-hand, joking reference and did not know he was breaking the law.The Sept. 22 document is the first time a public document describes that information as obtained through a warrant issued by the highly secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. In the filing, defense attorneys argue that using FISA evidence to extract concessions from AIPAC is improper. The document also refers, for the first time in public, to the use in the pretrial phase of the “sensitive compartmented information facility” in the Alexandria, Va., courtroom. Defendants often use such a facility to review secretly taped evidence against them.The FISA warrant and the SCIF room suggest the breadth and depth of the FBI investigation, which according to the indictment covered the five years between 1999 and 2004.…..AIPACtrial

  25. mack says:…..38;h1=Live video&at1=Newstream&LiveURITitle=Live%20video&LaunchPageAdTag=Newstream&fvCatNo=undefined&playerVersion=1&hostPageUrl=http%3A//
    link to a live camera and mic in the room
    funny watching all the talking heads scratching themselves when they think they’re off camera

  26. Hugh says:

    Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn to have a press conference in about 15 minutes. On most public stations in Illinois there will be a special edition at 1:06 CT of State House in Review where some people who know Illinois politics in detail will be discussing Blago’s case.

    • Petrocelli says:

      We’re doing fine, thanks. The folks in Mumbai are dealing with a lot of anger and fear.

      Congrats on the Charest victory, did he run as a Lib or NeoCon this time ? /s

  27. Hugh says:

    Commentators are already being to say that if Blago doesn’t resign the legislature will have to move quickly to impeach because the state’s finances are so precarious.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Impeachment before a conviction Gov Ryan killed a whole family a white ministers family in the license for bribe scandal and he was not impeached.

        • ThingsComeUndone says:

          Guv Ryan was selling drivers licenses to illegal immigrants Mexicans, Poles etc even truck driving licenses to haul stuff without having to take the driving test.
          A Mexican Immigrant was driving a truck and the stuff he was hauling was not secure it came loose and hit the car behind him.
          A minister lost his wife and many/all? his kids that day.
          I don’t know who is responsible for tying down a truckers load the press in Illinois blamed the driver and Ryan most of all.

    • Leen says:

      fox is going to be interesting to listen to the next few days. Start counting how many times we hear “impeachment” out of them.

      have no problem with this if only their demands were consistent..they are not

  28. MadDog says:

    Folks, one thing we should all keep in mind is that the US Senate itself has the power to seat or not to seat any Senator.

    So if it comes down to the fact that Governor Blagojevich still retains the Senate Appointment power for Obama’s seat, the US Senate still has the override to weigh in with a Yay or Nay.

    • kdh22 says:

      Exactly. Who’s who in IL politics is the question. Blago is already a has-been. The IL budget (or lack thereof) is a total disaster and has been for some time.

  29. foothillsmike says:

    Msnbc has more important stuff to deal with than Ill government. Doing presser on Leno. It’s about them.

  30. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Heck of a job Brownie at Fema was not a political hire? If all the candidates for the Senate seat are qualified as it seems from the partial list that would be a step up from Bush’s hires.
    Assuming Bush was not motivated by cash or repaying favors.
    Don’t get me wrong Blago is a crook but it seems to me only Dems get investigated and go to jail.
    The timing is real funny Bank of America called in favors.

  31. Leen says:

    On Fox they are talking about the impeachment of Blago.
    These two faced folks were sure not calling for the impeachment of Libby, Rove, Cheney, Addington, Feith for crimes committed.

    What “bleeping” double standards

  32. eCAHNomics says:

    CNN playing the clip I linked to in 99. “Go ahead and wiretap & tap me, everything I do is legal.” Sounds like “Bring ‘em on.”

  33. ThingsComeUndone says:

    The GOP needed a scandal they always need a scandal, outrage, a crusade! They need anger and emotional thinking to take over reason. Next they will tie Blago to Obama they are both from Illinois.
    Rahm turning Blago in was smart the guy knew he was being investigated and he refused to shut down his operation until the heat died down?
    Thats Bush League Crime!

  34. MrWhy says:

    Sounds to me as if wiretap may have been precipitated by shakedown of Obama concerning Senate seat appointment.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Could be — the timing does sound like it. Though Fitz said the request to tap Blago’s office (which was granted on 10/21) was in response to Blago pushing more bribes through before the new ethics law went into effect. Nabbing him for trying to stiff-arm Obama may well have been unexpected.

  35. maryo2 says:

    Blago’s wife (from TPM):
    During the call, Rod Blagojevich’s wife can be heard in the background telling Rod Blagojevich to tell Deputy Governor A ‘to hold up that fucking Cubs shit … fuck them’”

    Oh my!

    • freepatriot says:

      The conservative lobbying group whose message was trumpeted by former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is no more.

      they got a new plan

      Howard Dean should be flattered

      can’t wait to see the Repuglitards’ “50 State Strategy”

      first they laughed at him …

      How does that go ???

      • Petrocelli says:

        Quite apropos for Dean …

        First they ignore you
        Then they laugh at you
        Then they fight you
        Then you win
        – Gandhi

  36. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Fitz has definitely done Obama a service by jumping in early: if the shit comes down on Blago once the successor is appointed and accepted into the Senate, then it’s a huge embarrassment for Obama, and there’s potentially a co-indictee Dem Senator alongside Blago.

    • prostratedragon says:

      I wonder whether that was one reason for the speed once they saw what Blago was up to. Surely in such a situation, part of the USAtty job would be to protect those being approached, especially the President, rather than wait and see what they would do.

  37. Mary says:

    I suppose it’s too much to hope for, that some reporter would grab Nancy Pelosi and ask her if it wouldn’t be “prudent” in the interests of “bipartisanship” and given the “crises” confronting IL, for the IL legislators to follow her leadership and take impeachment off the table.

    In addition to being slimey, Blago must be an absolute idiot. You have to feel sorry for his children and their start to the day. If he doesn’t step down by the end of the day, I hope the legislature can do the emergency session and put together what Durbin is touting – they can combine the election with the one for Emmanuel’s seat and try to keep costs down.

  38. prostratedragon says:

    Listening to a Kent College prof (Doug Godfrey? Gottfried?) on Cliff Kelley’s radio show ( This prof is of the opinion that there will be more and more detailed charges, and that more people will be charged in the matter, quite likely including Blago’s wife, who’s from Chicago machine gentry. Also something I’d forgot: Rod Blagojevich started out as a prosecutor with the Illinois State’s Attorney: Wtf factor bolstered.

    (Chicago trivia: Cliff Kelley is himself a recovering Chicago pol, having done a few years for services rendered while he was an alderman. His successor but one recently pleaded guilty in matters related to the Hired Trucking cases being run out of USA-NDIL office.)

  39. pdaly says:

    Good for Fitz.

    But what does this do to the theory that prosecutions teach would be criminals to avoid the bad behaviors of their criminal forebears?

    First Fitz catches Republican Illinois Governor Ryan committing crimes, and now Fitz catches Democratic Illinois Governor Blagojevich committing crimes.

    • prostratedragon says:

      See mine above yours. If that theory works anywhere, it would not be in Chicago or Illinois.

      (Wonder how Emil Jones is feeling today. Well, I hope.)

      • pdaly says:

        Yes, and it doesn’t help matters that Bush and Cheney make it look so easy. Others try to emulate them. So many crimes, yet so little pixie dust to go round.

  40. MartyDidier says:

    Although what is happening today makes many happy but fasten your seatbelts as you haven’t seen anything yet! And it’s coming up real soon!

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL

  41. Leen says:

    Marcy has new insights up. what a whiz she is. How can we get her in on those press conferences? She would smother the other journalist with her in-depth understanding and questions

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