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What Did Rahm Emanuel Know, And When Did He Know It?

President-elect Obama has denied any direct contact with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He hasn't denied that others may have been in contact with Blagojevich. From the criminal complaint it seems that Blagojevich knew that he wasn't going to get a deal from Obama, leading many to believe that did attempt to (either directly or indirectly) cash in by offering to appoint Obama's close friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett for the Senate seat for a price.

Blagojevich indicates in the transcripts that he knows that he won't get a deal from Obama. How did he know that? One would presume that he knew that because he asked.

Earlier I noted that a tipster has floated the possibility that Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, reported Blagojevich to the feds. Emanuel has reportedly denied that story.

If Emanuel was aware of the pay for play scheme (Note: There's no evidence of that yet) things might get much messier for Emanuel and Obama. Consider the following scenario:

  • Blagojevich tries to strong-arm Emanuel for money to select Obama's preferred candidate.
  • Emanuel balks at the "pay for play" plan.
  • Emanuel takes no further action.

That means the Chief of Staff to the President-elect knew of a plot to auction off the President-elect's former Senate seat and did nothing to stop it. That's not good.

Emanuel better hope there's nothing to connect him, or anyone else in the transition team, to the Governor's scheme or Obama's going to have to throw someone else under the bus...


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Comments (34)

Your desparation to dispara... (Below threshold)

Your desparation to disparage Obama is pathetic.

And yours to uplift The(Wro... (Below threshold)

And yours to uplift The(Wrong)One is equally so.

Your desperation to ignore ... (Below threshold)

Your desperation to ignore the Obama work ethic is predictable, slimeez.

There is no evidence what s... (Below threshold)

There is no evidence what so ever that Obama new anything yet you make wild accusations. You might as well call this site the National Wizbang Enquirer.

"You might as well call ... (Below threshold)

"You might as well call this site the National Wizbang Enquirer."

As I recall, the National Enquirer broke the John Edwards mistress scandal, and liberals were scoffing then, too.

I think it would be wise for everyone to wait until all the details come out before drawing any conclusions yet.

I agree with Tom B. complet... (Below threshold)

I agree with Tom B. completely. I think it is appropriate to watch from the sidelines and stop speculating at this point.

I also agree with Tom B, Bu... (Below threshold)

I also agree with Tom B, But so many GOP people have their crystal balls, and they just know everything.

The only ones who really know is mostly likely the US Attorney, yup, the same one the GOP called all kinds of names, etc when he nailed good old Scooter Libby for the lying scumbag he is.

But like Tom said: just wait until all the details come out.

If Emanuel was awa... (Below threshold)
Crusty Dem:
If Emanuel was aware of the pay for play scheme (Note: There's no evidence of that yet) things might get much messier for Emanuel and Obama.

There is absolutely no reason to believe this is true. None, nada, zip, zero. The whole article is absurd speculation.

Tom, I agree, it is unfair ... (Below threshold)

Tom, I agree, it is unfair to speculate until more details are known.

I certainly believe if found guilty, Blagojevich should rot in a jail cell. However,I do find it rather odd that one month after Republicans were defeated pretty convincingly and one month before the inauguration they finally decide to press charges on a guy they have been investigating for four years! There is politics at play here folks. Get ready for a GOP comeback in two years.

The real concern is, when will our system rid itself of corruption, ego, partisan bickering and finger pointing? My best guess is when we the voter stop buying the BS from both parties and give em the boot.

(Note: There's no... (Below threshold)
(Note: There's no evidence of that yet)

I'd say that pretty much sums up your whole post Kevin.

Does the Republican party e... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Does the Republican party even have a pulse in Illinois? Anyone who could make a run at the Senate seat in a special election? Someone who could take the Governor seat?

Axelrod has admitted on tap... (Below threshold)

Axelrod has admitted on tape speaking with the lying lib guv.

The left will brush this off, but, this is the only way libs know how to operate.

Maybe MSNBC can startup a Lockup:Libs series with Wm Jefferson, the Ill. Gov, rezco, etc etc etc

Doesn't Alan Keyes still ow... (Below threshold)

Doesn't Alan Keyes still own a home in Illinois, Baron?

"speculation" - "There ... (Below threshold)

"speculation" - "There is politics at play here folks. Get ready for a GOP comeback in two years."

I guess the simple fact obama was just elected and his Senate seat became available never crossed your mind before you knee-jerked your way into wimpering about how "they been investigating for four years!"

It is looking more and more... (Below threshold)

It is looking more and more likely that it was Emmanuel that helped expose Blagojevich and speed up the federal prosecutor's case. It takes time to get a wiretap and it takes time to gather evidence. These accusations are dangerous and way too early. The guy you are accusing is likely the guy who blew the whistle on this whole thing.

"Axelrod has admitted on ta... (Below threshold)

"Axelrod has admitted on tape speaking with the lying lib guv."


"The left will brush this off, but, this is the only way libs know how to operate."

Umm, yeah, it works the same on both side. Deny, scream, and make excuses when a scandal arises. Then when the evidence is insurmountable, only then does the accused party shut up. But I guess you don't notice that the Repubs do the same thing...

"Maybe MSNBC can startup a Lockup:Libs series with Wm Jefferson, the Ill. Gov, rezco, etc etc etc"

Umm, there's actually more Republicans who've been convicted recently than Democrats, and that trend will probably continue for a while. But, of course, an extreme right winger also wouldn't notice that either.

pick your battles, neocons.... (Below threshold)

pick your battles, neocons... this kind of behavior happens every day all over the country and within every party. to me, obama's biggest challenge, providing he is anywhere near as clean as he projects (yes, yes, i know most right-wingers will be giving no benefit of doubt), would be leading a non-corrupt government effectively. he'll have to pull a major coup to obstruct corrupt govt-business-as-usual and not to become a serpico figure hung out to dry by friends and foes alike

I suggest some of you geniu... (Below threshold)

I suggest some of you geniuses actually read the indictment by Fitzgerald.

1) The investigation of Blago has been going on for years for other reasons.

2) The wiretapping began before the election and was approved by a Federal Judge.

3) Blago allegedly started auctioning off the seat BEFORE the election

4) The indictment indicates that Blago had conversations with Obama's people, the Smoking Gun says that the person identified in the indictment as "President-Elect Advisor" is Rahm Emmanuel. Obviously, Blago had conversations with Obama's people, otherwise how would Blago know that there was no deal. In the indictment Blago is furious with Obama for not giving him any deal.

So somebody in Obama's camp knew that Blago was auctioning off the seat. Did they or didn't they go to the DoJ about it?

The right is leaping to the conclusion that he didn't, the left is leaping to the conclusion that he did. Frankly, we don't know yet, because Fitz hasn't said one way or the other.

I question the timing.... (Below threshold)

I question the timing.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm girding my loins.

Pea, if Obama hadn't risen ... (Below threshold)

Pea, if Obama hadn't risen on the stinking shoulders of Illinois Chicago corruption, you might have a point. But you don't, only an attempt at Orwellian Newspeak that fails our BS filter.

I do have to agree with sli... (Below threshold)

I do have to agree with slimeez (4.) that nothing is new to Obama, and he never new anything. He always do the same Ol' thing he always done.

Barry and Blago are thick a... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Barry and Blago are thick as thieves. It was only in the last few weeks as Barrys people caught wind of what Fitz had that they stiff armed Blago. Just like JFK dissin Sinatra.

I would think that the guy ... (Below threshold)

I would think that the guy who informed would be the good guy in this case. Of course, no one is going to just yelp something like that as soon as he gets wind of it; it has to be investigated so whether the person heard it three months ago or yesterday seems hardly a reason for finger-pointing.

epador - i think the term "... (Below threshold)

epador - i think the term "orwellian newspeak" is itself a good example of orwellian newspeak. there is however that small kernal of cogent thought in your response: yes obama comes from the illinois political arena. that mere guilt-by-association angle wasnt a point of this blog post, but yes, as america already well knows, obama has practiced politics in a famously corrution-tinged state. you have my unending gratitude for digging deep and pointing that out, lest any of us forget the long history, from al capone to mayor daley, of chicago. you get a gold star


Rick Moran is asking the sa... (Below threshold)

Rick Moran is asking the same questions:


If Emanuel is "Advisor B" he's dancing awfully close to the fire.

Obama and his aides dispara... (Below threshold)

Obama and his aides disparage themselves great and do not need our help with it!!

Wow, wizbang never ceases t... (Below threshold)

Wow, wizbang never ceases to amuse me.

I say you put Kim on the case. She'll get to the bottom of it.

And Oyster, what does that even mean?

Marc, I am not wimpering ab... (Below threshold)

Marc, I am not wimpering about anthing. I am simply stating that it is typical that when one party is down, the other always seems to make a comeback because the other one is plagued with scandals. Personally, I think both parties are worthless turds.

As Obama participated and u... (Below threshold)

As Obama participated and used the corrupt political machine, rather than deftly maneuvering around it, in the Chicago area, your attempt at spinning dexterously (or perhaps sinisterly) is simply a flat spin into uncontrolled flight, leading to abrupt kinetic disassembly, P3.

abrupt kinetic disassembly.... (Below threshold)

abrupt kinetic disassembly... orwell called. he wants his newspeak back haha

please describe in any meaningful way how obama "used the corrupt political machine"

dont "deftly maneuver arount it" =] lets hear it

I am having a great laugh. ... (Below threshold)

I am having a great laugh. Obama hasn't even been sworn in and his people are already in trouble with the law. Not surprised but I am by the speed. Axlerod knew, Obama's close campaign manager but not Obama. That is sweet. I love all the ah's and um's Obama threw out at that impromptu question. This is going to be a really fun two years. ww

If Rahm is the 'President-e... (Below threshold)
J House:

If Rahm is the 'President-elect advisor', he will have to resign.
He was asked by reporters today, and he didn't issue a denial.
He could not have fignered Blago to the Feds. They have had him under court-auth. surv. for months, likely before any discussions came up on Obama's open Senate seat.

'President-elect advisor' w... (Below threshold)

'President-elect advisor' was mentioned only as someone Blago wanted to ask for a favor, but whoever he talked to in the Obama administration was not playing ball in regards to the Senate seat, so no reason to believe they were willing to help him out with anything else he wanted, especially since the Feds are not going after anyone besides Blago and his cos.

Just a few days ago, people... (Below threshold)

Just a few days ago, people were saying Rahm was the one who ratted Blagojevich out.






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