Shorter Blagojevich:

"If I have to face impeachment, then the self-imagined future Speaker of the House ought to be forced to testify, too."

In a dramatic development in the ongoing impeachment proceedings, lawyers for Gov. Rod Blagojevich want two key aides to President-elect Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to testify before the House impeachment committee.

Sources tell CBS 2 that a letter sent by Blagojevich’s lawyers  to committee chairman, State Rep. Barbara Currie, asks that the committee subpoena Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Jackson.

This is a smart move by Blago. Obama has already signaled he wants to protect Jarrett and Rahm (more on this in upcoming posts). So why not make Obama as uncomfortable as possible? (I intend to start counting the number of unintended consequences from Obama’s crappy treatment of yesterday’s report; count this as number one.)

Furthermore, this will expose a good deal of Fitz’s case. Not that Obama or Jarrett or JJJ himself (as opposed to his associates) are key players in Fitz’s case. But this gives Blago an opportunity to play to the press’ shiny object to distract attention from the wholesale sale of government that is the core of Fitz’s case.

11 replies
  1. bell says:

    distractions are a form of entertainment for the mainstream news nowadays… why dwell on reality when so many other juicy and irrelevant topics are vying for the attention span of a gnat? actually the ghat might have more focus then those watching the fox, lol..

  2. scribe says:

    Q.: So why not make Obama as uncomfortable as possible?

    A.: Because al-Marri and Padilla v. Hanft are still good law.

  3. LabDancer says:

    Smart – okay, but to what end?

    With Fitzgerald throwing the Senate Seat Sale bone to the Illinois legislature, yet keeping the good stuff for the indictment – hospitals and the Trib – yeah, I can see MacBlago turning this impeachment process into pure bathos – but what’s the goal?

    His standing as a Dem is – well, isn’t.

    If the point to set up to run for re-election as an independent, a 4% approval rating isn’t exactly the strongest position to campaign from, and there’s more than enough Illinois Dems proud enough of the brand with one of their own in the White House to turn out in numbers just to save the brand.

    If the premise is to set up a talk radio gig, even midwest talk radio stars like T.D. Mischke are getting pink slips, the entire genre has taken such severe kicking right in the demograhics from XL music and the Toobz.

    So I’m prepared to buy “smart” in some narrow tactical sense – like escaping a dog fight by jerking the rudder up into the stratosphere – but how’s that “smart” when he’s already down to fumes and his ship can’t glide?

    • bmaz says:

      He heh, the goal is to stay out of the clink, and he is going to use any tool in front of him to do it. At this moment, he is confronted with the threat of the dreaded parallel proceeding, so he is going to make a pain in ass of himself and play reverse prosecutor. Consider it a bastardized gray mail defense in terms of making everybody else do things they don’t want to do, but making a record for later impeachment (witness impeachment) evidence purposes too. Gerson is going to drag in every mope he can get, put them under oath, make them uncomfortable, and button them down on the record outside of the purview of Fitz.

      Exactly what Fitz does not want.

      And all of these people have a problem; to make themselves look the most innocent, they are going to concurrently make Blago look innocent. Downplaying and removing taint from any interaction they had with Blago, which will be their tendency, will help Blago too, and he knows it. And this portion of the case is the weakest part, so if holes can be cracked wide open in this, it is going to undercut the rest of the case, both for impeachment and criminal. Since they are going to make him deal with a parallel impeachment proceeding, Blago is going to turn the table and wring every ounce out of it, and be as big a pain in the ass as he can. From a defense perspective, this is smart.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, yes, of course there is that too.

          But the subpoena requests are a straight up tactical legal move by Gerson I think. Heck, Ted Wells would have tried to subpoena Obama. And then cried to “Give Blago back to teh fine people of Illinois”.

          • nextstopchicago says:

            Good points. It’s Genson, not Gerson, though. Gerson was a phenomenal winger for Brazil in 66, but to my knowledge, he has little involvement in the Blagojevich defense.

            Although there is this, from Wiki:
            Gérson had his name unfortunately associated with the infamous Gérson’s law (lei de Gérson in Portuguese). He starred in a cigarette advertising campaign in the ’70s which had a tagline I like to take advantage of everything and became a codeword for the traditional Brazilian disregard for Laws & Rules.[1] He later repudiated the sentiment.

  4. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I think the GOP has offered to help Blaggo in return for using his case to hurt the Dems. But taking out Rahm is not a bad thing for the Left. Its bad for the DLC and Mayor Daley.

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