December 9, 2008
Illinois Governor Arrested on Corruption Charges
Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested this morning on federal corruption charges. Wiretaps recorded Blagojevich discussing how to "sell or trade" the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama "for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife," prosecutors allege. Also charged in the 2-count indictment, with a lurid 76-page FBI affidavit, was Blagojevich's chief of staff, John Harris.
Blagojevich allegedly was recorded saying he would demand hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Senate appointment, or else he would appoint himself.
On the day before the presidential election, Blagojevich discussed with "Deputy Governor A" the Senate seat that Obama would vacate if he were elected president. According to the affidavit, "Rod Blagojevich told Deputy Governor A that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open Senate seat, then Rod Blagojevich will take the Senate seat himself: 'if ... they're not going to offer anything of value, then I might just take it.'"
In talking with "Advisor A" about "Senate Candidate 1," Blagojevich allegedly "stated that the Senate seat 'is a fucking valuable thing, you don't just give it away for nothing.'"
The affidavit, by FBI agent Daniel Cain, also claims that Blagojevich threatened to withhold state aid from the Tribune Co., which filed for bankruptcy Monday, unless it fired editorial board members who had criticized Blagojevich in editorials.
The affidavit includes numerous pages detailing Blagojevich's alleged connections to the Tony Rezko political contributions scandal.
The allegations regarding Blagojevich's alleged attempts to sell the U.S. Senate seat fill pages 54-74 of the FBI affidavit.
Read full article, including link to the Government's Complaint and Affidavit, here. [Brooks Holland]
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