Rahm Almost Certainly Didn’t Bust Blagojevich

I know I reported the local Chicago Fox reporter’s scoop that Rahm may have turned Blago into Fitz.

CONATY: We did receive a tip this morning that perhaps all of this came together so quickly because the Governor may have reached out to Rahm Emanuel, the president-elect’s chief of staff, in attempting to leverage filling the Senate seat. And it may have been Rahm Emanuel who tipped the scale and made this move as quickly as it did.

Rahm now denies he was the one who tipped off the investigation. But it was already clear from the chronology that Rahm couldn’t have been the one to tip off the entire wiretap.

My question now is whether Rahm’s source’s reference to "overzealous reporting" suggests Rahm was involved at all.

First, as to the chronology, Fitz’s complaint gives a timeline in which Blago’s discussions about the Senate replacement starting on November 3, the day before the election. While it is possible that Fitz is withholding earlier conversations about it (I’ll return to this later), it’s clear that Blago’s thoughts about brokering the seat were still formulating on November 4, when he starting thinking about things he might ask for in exchange for the Senate appointment.

On November 4, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Deputy Governor A. This was the same day as the United States Presidential election. With respect to the Senate seat, Deputy Governor A suggested putting together a list of things that ROD BLAGOJEVICH would accept in exchange for the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded that the list “can’t be in writing.” Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed whether he could obtain an ambassadorship in exchange for the Senate seat. [my emphasis]

In other words, even assuming Fitz isn’t giving us everything, it’s clear that Blago was just beginning to think about brokering the position. 

But we know the first wiretaps went in much earlier than that–on October 22–and that they were based on information that came to light in early October. 

… in early October 2008, the government obtained information that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was accelerating his corrupt fund raising activities to accumulate as much money as possible before the implementation of ethics legislation on January 1, 2009, that would severely curtail ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s ability to raise money from individuals and entities conducting business with the State of Illinois.


On October 21, 2008, Chief Judge James F. Holderman signed an order authorizing the interception of oral communications for a 30-day period in two rooms at the Friends of Blagojevich office: Read more