If Blagojevich Was Selling a Senate Seat, Who Was Buying?
Federal prosecutors say that before Gov. Rod Blagojevich named a U.S. senator to President-Elect Barack Obama's now-vacant seat, he wanted to get something ...
Federal prosecutors say that before Gov. Rod Blagojevich named a U.S. senator to President-Elect Barack Obama's now-vacant seat, he wanted to get something in return. I just asked whether we'd find out which candidate or candidates were on the other end of this alleged quid pro quo. It seems likely the answer is yes.
Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."
As recently as December 4, in separate conversations with Advisor B and Fundraiser A, Blagojevich said that he was "elevating" Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates because, among other reasons, if Blagojevich ran for re-election, Senate Candidate 5 would "raise money" for him. Blagojevich said that he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided Blagojevich with something "tangible up front." Noting that he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days, Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to reach out to an intermediary (Individual D), from whom Blagojevich is attempting to obtain campaign contributions and who Blagojevich believes is close to Senate Candidate 5. Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Senate Candidate 5 was a very realistic candidate but Blagojevich was getting a lot of pressure not to appoint Senate Candidate 5, according to the affidavit.
It seems very unlikely that Senate Candidate 5's identity will stay a secret for long. That said, I should echo a point that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald just made during his press conference: Blagojevich and John Harris (his chief of staff) are the only ones being charged with crimes. Plus, with so many intermediaries involved, it's not even necessarily clear that the Candidate 5 knew what was happening.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Domestic Abusers Can Lose Gun Rights, Rules High Court5 hours ago
SCOTUS Overturns Ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell's Conviction8 hours ago
Bob McDonnell and the Illusion of Ethics Reform8 hours ago
5 States Where the Abortion Ruling Could Spur More Lawsuits9 hours ago
Hawaii Becomes First State to Track Gun Owners in FBI Database10 hours ago
After Dozens Die in West Virginia Flooding, Obama Signs Disaster Declaration11 hours ago