Blagojevich Insults Obama on Tapes

Check out page 63 of the 78 page complaint (pdf)against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagovich where the Governor and aides and consultants are discussing whether to appoint Obama's preference, referred to as Senate Candidate 1, for his senate replacement:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherf*cker [the President-elect] his senator. F*ck him. For nothing? F*ck him.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give f*cking [Senate Candidate 1] a f*cking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.” (Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois).


Later in the phone call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that absent getting something back, ROD BLAGOJEVICH will not pick Senate Candidate 1. HARRIS re-stated ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s thoughts that they should ask the President-elect for something for ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s financial security as well as maintain his political viability. HARRIS said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.

On page 72:

Later on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that his decision about the open Senate seat will be based on three criteria in the following order of importance: “our legal situation, our personal situation, my political situation. This decision, like every other one, needs to be based upon on that. Legal. Personal. Political.” HARRIS said, “legal is the hardest one to satisfy.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that his legal problems could be solved by naming himself to the Senate seat.

Anyone know who Fundraiser A and Senate Candidate #5 are? There's some pretty nasty horse-trading allegations about them on pages 74 and 75. [Update: Senate Candidate #5 is probably Jesse Jackson, Jr. Senate Candidate 1, referred to as a "her", is Valerie Jarrett, who reportedly was Obama's preference and who took herself out of the running a few weeks ago.]

Advisor B also seems up to his/her ears.

This complaint, with its recitation of the taped calls and bugged conversations, is devastating. As is typical for Fitz, he's going to roll the little guys to get his target.

Blagojevich's lawyers best shot will be in challenging the wiretaps and bugs. Considering itt didn't work for Gov. Ryan or Tony Rezko or Stuart Levine, that seems like a longshot. After that, what's left? That the conversations were just talk and didn't amount to overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy? That too will be a hard sell.

Obama should be happy Blagojevich trashed him in the tapes. As Fitz said, there's no information Obama was aware any of these attempts were taking place, and the tapes make it pretty clear Blagojevich didn't think Obama's people would "pay to play."

Update: Mrs. Blagojevich must be happy she didn't get charged. I wonder if it will stay that way or whether she'll be indicted when Fitz takes the case to the grand jury.

< Wiretaps and Bugs Used in Rod Blagojevich Investigation | Sen. Larry Craig Guilty Plea to Stand >
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    the wife (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:36:55 PM EST
    I love the part where the wife gets on the phone call to tell one of her hubby's people that they should just screw the Tribune folks on the Cubs issue if they don't kick the people off the editorial board who are saying bad stuff about her husband.  Doesn't she say something like "f ck them?"  She sounds like she was up to her ears in stuff.  They may be holding back an actual indictment of her, though, to get the Governor to plead out.  Smart of them to put enough in there to implicate her, but not charge her at this point.  If he wants to save her the conviction and prison time, he'll make a quick deal.  Of course, it's hard to know whether his morality would include falling on his sword to protect his wife.  The man strikes me as a sociopath, and I don't use that word lightly.

    I was thinking (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:44:06 PM EST
    Fitz saw no need to arrest her now because she's not a flight risk with her kids at home, so he graciously decided to delay naming her until the Indictment.

    On the other hand, perhaps including her complicates his case in some way, or perhaps other tapes show she wasn't involved in the conspiracy and was just promoting herself. Since she had no decision making power, maybe the charges don't fit. Although if she was a player in her husband's scheme, that seems like enough to make her a co-conspirator.

    I won't be surprised if ultimately she is charged.


    Also, Fitz said in the press conference (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:51:17 PM EST
    that one of the reasons he moved to arrest and publicize this now was because several of these potentially corrupt decisions were imminent. He has plety of time to wrap the rest of the case up in a bow.

    Depends on the man. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Fabian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:25:59 PM EST
    Tom Noe's deal specifically included guilty pleas in exchange for Mrs. Bernadette Noe not being charged.  She was most definitely involved and if they had enough to convict Tom, they probably had enough to convict her as well.  

    The Wife (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by STLDeb on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:27:34 PM EST
    I agree, I also think the wife will go down too.  Her hands have definitely been dirty, along with her husband.

    I remember, maybe about 2 years ago, it was either her or her husband received a very large check from someone doing "business" with them but they said it was just a check written to their daughter as a birthday present from their "friend".  Hmmmmm!!!!!


    I disagree about Jesse Jackson Jr. (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:36:53 PM EST
    I do not think he could possibly be Senate Candidate 5.  See my diary here.

    I also thought the Governor's wife (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:18:01 PM EST
    dodged a bullet (so far).  

    Note:  Information from Rezko and the two people who testified against him is included in the affidavit.  Oh what tangled webs.  

    I agree (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:23:26 PM EST
    It's also interesting how the affidavit says Rezko's recollections differ significantly from the other cooperators and they are still trying to verify his information. It's not very helpful to the prosecution if your witnesses tell different stories.

    I'll bet Rezko comes around to matching the other witnesses... otherwise he might not get much time off his sentence.


    Marc Ambinder connects some dots (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:28:15 PM EST
    and comes up with Jesse Jackson Jr. as Candidate #5.

    One of his dots is that Obama does not like JJ Jr.  I did not know that. Interesting to see how that plays out.

    Confusing (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:49:20 PM EST
    Obama doesn't like JJ Jr? Wasn't JJ Jr. co-chair of Obama's campaign?

    That's what confuses me too (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:53:24 PM EST
    I wonder if JJ Jr knows Obama didn't want him appointed?  I guess he knows now!  I bet the wires are buzzing today. Or maybe not ;-)

    Yes, and (none / 0) (#24)
    by nemo52 on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:24:29 PM EST
    he was all over MSNObama during the primaries, usually trashing HRC.  

    raging bull (none / 0) (#29)
    by jedimom on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 08:23:21 PM EST
    yes but I think PEBO knows JJJr is largely uncontrollable and probably up to his eyebrows in Chicago Combine pay to play action and wants him at arms length or preferably farther-HA!..

    PEBO knows how to look after his self interest, I think he learned from Rezko..JJJr was appalling during the primary, just appalling, that how did OJ handle a white woman crxp just cant shake that one I'm still pixxed..anywho Emil knows too much about how he 'gifted' PEBO with all those bills in the state house right? and JJJr is just really I think someone who cant be controlled..

    I think PEBO would frankly not have either one of them if he could help it..


    Obama not backing JJjr might (none / 0) (#7)
    by Joelarama on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:37:50 PM EST
    have a lot to do with JJsr.  No love lost there.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by sj on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:22:28 PM EST
    I mean I know about the lack of love re JJsr, but it seemed to me that JJjr was creepily loyal to Obama during primary season.  That whole "she didn't cry for Katrina" canard came from JJjr.  

    If it's true that O doesn't like JJjr... well, it seems as though that wasn't reason enough not to use him, or benefit from the sh*t jjjr stirred up.

    I can't blame O for not liking him, though.  I, too, despise jjjr.


    Amen to that (so to speak) (none / 0) (#31)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 01:13:54 AM EST
    Huffpo and Chicago Fox affiliate (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:42:19 PM EST
    reporting (speculating) that Rahm Emanuel tipped off Fitzgerald and urged quicker action against the governor.  The tape of the Fox report is posted at Thinkprogress.org now.

    Chuck Todd said, on Morning Joe, (none / 0) (#9)
    by andrys on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:43:55 PM EST
    that this is a tremendous problem for Obama because of all the interrelationships and that Obama will need to 'shut this down' right away as it's bad news.  To hear Todd say this was startling.

      To any who wonder why, though it has been impolitic to mention such things on many Dem forums, it's that Fitzgerald has been focused more deeply on the Board Games schemes, money exchanges between Rezko, Blagojevich and others, fixing the size and composition of boards to control them toward the ends of a type you heard from 'Blago' today.

      To read what the problems are for Obama  (though I think he is now safe, as President in the time of a possible collapse of the economy if solutions aren't found - and is doing a good job so far), Fitzgerald has been concentrating on some kind of deal with Rezko, post trial convictions.  Nov. 27, Rezko stopped talking and wants more.

      Soon after the trial, Rezko wrote a strange note saying that there was pressure on him to say things about Blagojevich and Obama, but that neither had ever done anything wrong and he wanted people to know that.  In the meantime, Fitzgerald is now looking more deeply into what's been called Operation Board Games.

      If you google
        pringle obama "operation board games"

      you'll get an idea of why Chuck Todd feels the news today  is bad for Obama if it's allowed to go on.  You couldn't be in Chicago politics without playing the game, and people hope Obama used them more than they used him.  Looks that way.

      It also helps us understand why Blagojevich could go on and on today about how he expected to be paid to appoint the person recommended and his attitude with Obama who is in charge now and playing it clean and this probably threw Blago loco.  That's my take.

      McCain deserves credit for not using the Rezko-related info or the Wright ad that was released yesterday, since the primary crowd is only a small portion of the electorate.

    I doubt Todd had read the transcripts (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by Joelarama on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    at that point which tend to show Obama's team was refusing to play ball with Blag.

    Wait to see what Todd says on Matthews or Olbermann.  In any event, I've noticed Todd tailors his commentary depending what show he's on.


    Yes and Todd is really a pollster (none / 0) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:06:03 PM EST
    by trade I think not a reporter.  I've seen him get his facts wrong - or simply get ahead of stories by making assumptions a few times.

    I was holding my breath hoping that there would be no evidence that the Obama camp was cooperating with Blagojevich when I first heard - it is a big relief that the Governor was trashing Obama and that reports are coming out now that Emanuel pressed Fitzgerald to stop Blago before he could appoint anyone.

    On a side note, I switched from MSNBC to CNN hours ago because MSNBC broke away from the Blago story to NBC's live press conference about Jay Leno - lol - self-promotion much!


    I interpreted Todd's statements as just (none / 0) (#30)
    by andrys on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 12:19:29 AM EST
    pointing out that any prolonged coverage of this is just bad news for Obama because he and the nation have to concentrate on dealing with the really quite horrendous economy and this definitely distracts, in an unusual way, since Obama's work in Chicago involved interactions with the players.  His name being dragged into this or that aspect of Blagojevich's myriad history of problems (and these include Rezko), even without accusations, is just detrimental to a clear focus on pulling behind Obama in focusing on all the things he must do, and he will need support and trust.  

      We all know the Republicans will try to keep the focus on all things Chicago.

      At the time Todd talked about this, they did know already that Blago was going wild over ObamaTeam showing NO interest in anything more than appreciation if Blago were to appoint the recommended person (apparently Jarrett, who is close to Obama and named as a Sr. White House Advisor and who has a very impressive background/resume).

      Blagojevich seems incredibly out of control, advising others by phone NOT to use the phone when strategizing.



    Allowed to go on? (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:56:20 PM EST
    I think the train has left the station.  What does Todd suggest Obama can do to 'shut it down'? Apart from the blatantly unethical, that is?

    It sounds to me like they came up (none / 0) (#11)
    by Joelarama on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:46:26 PM EST
    in "Chicago politics" as so many called it in the primary.  

    I hope Chicago doesn't follow Obama to DC the way Arkansas followed Clinton.  As much as I think Rahm Emmanuel is an [self-edited for Jeralyn], I'm glad someone like him will be running things when the Republican smear machine gears up.

    DNC was largely moved TO Chicago. After the (none / 0) (#14)
    by andrys on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    inaugural, will they move back to Washington, D.C.?  Anyone know?

    With Emil Jones also said to be close to being indicted (or very in dange of it), it's just unreal what Chicago politics seems to be about.


    It was supposedly only the campaign arm of the DNC (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 01:57:46 PM EST
    that was moved to Chicago. The main DNC offices are stillw herever they used to be, D.C. I presume.

    "Obama should be happy Blagojevich (none / 0) (#19)
    by NYShooter on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    trashed him in the tapes."

    And he better be purer than Caesar's wife.

    With the huge number of alleged co-conspirators about to do their best impressions of   Maria Callas singing " O mio babbino caro," Obama better really have been like the "piano player" who didn't know what went on upstairs."

     "I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" --Renault

    High fives all around (none / 0) (#20)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:05:10 PM EST
    at Bank of America corporate headquarters.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 02:14:02 PM EST
    I those shafted workers will have to occupy the plant at least a little while longer.

    Not today (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 03:29:31 PM EST
    Score for the little guys.  At least, they get the 60 days, although they are still out of work so it's not THAT great.

    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 03:16:03 PM EST
    "which tend to show Obama's team was refusing to play ball with Blag."

    Not exactly. If you read the indictment--it's very long and you have to get past item 100--what emerges is that Blago offered two scenarios designed to provide himself with a comfortable financial cushion, and of those two options, "Presidential Adviser A" (we don't yet know who that is, but there is speculation it's Rahm Emannuel) said no, "President Elect" prefers the second option because "it is a step removed," i.e., it is further from direct report/control of the Pres-Elect.

    So it wasn't a repudiation of Blago's offer, just a renegotiation if you will. Now, was Obama directly involved in these negotiations? Not according to the indictment. Could Emmanuel (if it is Emmanuel) have been acting without Obama's knowledge or say-so? It's possible. We don't know.

    All we can say about Obama's involvement at this point is, this indictment doesn't offer any evidence of his involvement. That's fine, and legally that's all that is needed. But too many Obama supporters are spinning this as "the indictment TOTALLY says Obama had no idea any of this was going on and was completely uninvolved." It doesn't say that, and it can't, because it's not even about Obama. It's about Blago and the assorted "advisers" and "senators" whose names we still don't know.