(H/T – Ed Morrissey)
I’ll start with the standard disclaimers that this comes from an unnamed source, that Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has not been named in the criminal complaint against Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D) and Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, and that the report referenced below does not actually state that Emanuel was actively selling the seat to Blagojevich and Harris.
WFLD-TV, the Fox affiliate in Chicago, aired a report last night asserting that a “reliable source familiar with the investigation” stated that Emanuel had conversations with both Blagojevich and Harris about candidates for the seat that has now been vacated by Obama. According to that source, the conversations, which took place on “multiple occassions” after Emanuel was named as Obama’s chief of staff November 6 (and after the wiretaps began), included a list of names “acceptable to President-elect Obama” given to the governor’s office. The source went on to say that the conversations were likely recorded by the FBI. The report notes that the source did not say one way or the other whether those conversations invovled any quid pro quo.
My gut feeling on this is that Obama cannot have January 20 come fast enough so he can oust US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and shut this down before any indictment against Blagojevich and Harris can be handed down, and before the taint can officially spread to his closest advisor. If a grand jury comes down with an indictment before then, and especially if things are as they appear (or worse), Obama is screwed.