Either President Elect Obama or his chief strategist David Axelrod is lying! Jake Tapper writing at ABC's Political Punch has the story:
Questions Arise About the Obama/Blagojevich RelationshipObama and Blagojevitch shared many of the same corrupt cronies like convicted slum lord Tony Rezko whose role in today's indicment of Blagojevitch is as clear as the troubling personal, daily closeness of Obama and Rezko.
December 09, 2008 3:37 PM
"Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office today," said President-elect Obama this afternoon in Chicago, speaking of the criminal complaint against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption. "But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."
Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago [video here] and said something quite different.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
[I]t should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.
According to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Mr. Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama, a third Blagojevich aide, and Blagojevich's campaign co-chair, David Wilhelm, were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory.
Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama "participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two."
Name a Special Prosecutor NOW!
Michael Scherer writing at Time Magazine's blog Swampland:
The President of the United States has a higher burden than just about any elected official anywhere. His staff will be called on by the press to account for all their conversations with Blagojevich and his aides. Obama will have to explain what he knew about these discussions. The bit players in the complaint, like the unnamed Senate Candidate 1 and Senate Candidate 5, will have to come forward and explain their involvement. If the investigation continues into next year, which seems likely, there may even be calls for the appointment of something like an independent counsel at the Justice Department to avoid any hint of political interference. Obama's staff and political allies may be forced to get attorneys of their own.At this crucial time in the formation of a new Administration the last thing the American people need are lingering questions about any corrupt ties between a massively corrupt Illinois political machine and the incoming President.
There is a clear conflict of interest in asking U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to continue this investigation. His job, along with every other U.S. Attorney and all other political appointees is on the line.
The only way the American people can be assured that Obama and members of his incoming Administration are innocent in this massive corruption scandal is for a Special Prosecutor to be appointed immediately!