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December 24, 2008

Emanuel Talked to Blago About Keeping His House Seat "Warm" For Him with an Interim Congressman

Blago couldn't appoint someone to the seat... but he could use his influence to help get someone in (like Beau Biden's seat-warmer) who didn't have much more political ambition and could be trusted to give the seat up when Emanuel was ready to return to Congress.

Emanuel has not yet resigned from his congressional post. When he does, his position will be filled by a special election. But there was discussion about whether Blagojevich could appoint an interim replacement, according to the criminal complaint in the governor's case.

Days after Emanuel and Blagojevich spoke about Emanuel's seat, the governor is overheard telling aides on secret wiretaps he wanted Emanuel "to get the word today," about raising money for the governor and that when "[Emanuel] asks me for the Fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head." The "Fifth CD" was a reference to Emanuel's 5th Congressional District seat.

So, Blago wanted something from Emanuel, and Emanuel wanted something from Blago. Nothing was "promised," the report says, but gee willickers, one can't help but suspect that favors might have been discussed. Blago certainly thought it was time to talk fundraising.

I don't get the article claiming Blago could appoint a Representative. I thought all representatives had to be popularly elected. Maybe they mean he could appoint the Democratic candidate, who would almost certainly win, thus making the appointment as candidate effectively the appointment to the seat.

I think it's time for the Rahm Emanuel resignation watch. He's too close to this. Plus, he saw this as a short-term gig; he wants to be in the House leadership anyway.

I say: Two weeks. He'll soon decide to spend more time with his fixers and fundraisers.


Swiped from Hot Air's headlines.

See Also: Obama's "investigation" prompts more questions than it answers.

And Even More: Closed loop:

The Obama transition staff never explained what "inappropriate contacts" meant until releasing its report Tuesday, despite numerous press questions.

"Inappropriate" in Obama transition-speak can be defined two ways: "unethical" or "discussing an explicit quid pro quo"

When the Obama report says nothing inappropriate occurred, that's what it means.

It's also worth understanding how "lawyered-up" this process was.

Greg Craig, the incoming White House Counsel, conducted his inquiry by taking questions to each transition staff member's lawyer. The lawyers then went to the staff members and collected the answers. The lawyers then gave the answers to Craig.

In some cases -- team Obama won't say how many -- Craig would go back to either the staff member's attorney or the staff member directly for clarification. But it appears Craig's direct questioning of staff was very limited.

Additionally, there was no independent effort to verify any of the information provided by the staff member or the staff member's attorney. If, for example, a staff member's attorney said there was no e-mail or text messaging with Blagojevich or his staff, Craig took that at face value. No one knows if there was any e-mailing or texting, by the way.


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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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