Don’t peek, but at the bottom I will link to the article from which the following excerpts are taken. See if you can guess where this article was printed.
Two top aides to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich resigned this week in the wake of the launching of criminal proceedings against the governor, and there was mounting pressure from state and national Democratic Party leaders for the governor himself to step down.
Ok, nothing unusual there. But then questions begin.
The frenzy to remove Blagojevich from office as soon as possible is also remarkable. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the state Supreme Court Friday seeking to have Blagojevich declared “incapable” of performing his office and have Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn installed as acting governor.
In her motion, Madigan argued that, “The pervasive nature and severity of these pending charges disable Mr. Blagojevich from making effective decisions on critical time-sensitive issues.” She sought to invoke a provision in the state constitution allowing for the replacement of a governor on the grounds of “disability,” although the constitutional history suggests that this term was meant to apply to a physical or mental breakdown, not a prosecution.
The traditional constitutional separation of powers would seem to bar the courts from intervening in such a fashion against the executive branch. Madigan conceded that her motion has no legal precedent, remarking at a news conference, “I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances.”
Madigan’s father, Michael Madigan, the Democratic leader in the state House of Representatives, said he would move for impeachment of the governor at a special session of the legislature called for Monday in Springfield if Blagojevich did not resign or was not removed by the court. Impeachment, the traditional constitutional procedure for removal of a chief executive, would take considerably longer, since it would require a trial before the state Senate and conviction.
Neither of the Madigans, nor Lt. Gov. Quinn, nor Republican state legislative leaders who have given their enthusiastic support, explained why it was necessary to remove Blagojevich from office so precipitously, before any trial or even evidentiary hearing on the criminal charges brought against him by the US Attorney.
Hmm, what is the author suggesting? That someone has a suspicious motive for removing Blagojevich? Then the author gets right to the point:
If there is a political motivation in the charges against Blagojevich, however, this could well involve a desire to protect a more important Democrat—President-elect Barack Obama. At least one top Obama aide, Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Obama’s choice for White House chief of staff, was in contact with Blagojevich about the selection of Obama’s successor in the Senate.
While the Obama transition office refused to release any information on such contacts for several days after the Blagojevich scandal become public, on Friday it confirmed that Emanuel had delivered a list to Blagojevich of a half-dozen prominent Democrats whom Obama could support as his replacement. Any telephone conversations on this topic between Emanuel and Blagojevich or Harris would likely have been tape-recorded by the FBI, which wiretapped the governor’s calls for nearly two months, beginning in mid-October.
The timing of Fitzgerald’s decision to bring charges against Blagojevich suggests that he may have wanted to act before anyone in the Obama camp could respond favorably to the governor’s shakedown effort. This fact is underscored by a report in the Washington Post Saturday noting that “debate raged within the legal community about whether US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald moved prematurely to bring bribery and conspiracy charges before the consummation of an illegal act.”
In plain language, Blagojevich was arrested before he could make any deal for the delivery of the Senate appointment in return for political and/or financial favors. While he may well be guilty of a series of other corrupt practices, among them selling state contracts for campaign contributions, extortion against the owner of the Chicago Tribune and a Chicago-area children’s hospital, on the most sensational charge, the sale of Obama’s seat in the US Senate, he seems to have engaged only in thinking and talking, with no apparent overt action.
Fitzgerald not only preempted any possible deal between Blagojevich and Obama, he included exculpatory information about Obama in the 76-page document charging Blagojevich, including several quotes of telephone conversations in which the governor cursed the president-elect for failing to offer a quid-pro-quo for the Senate selection. The US attorney—whose job depends on re-nomination by the incoming president—also went out of his way to declare that he was making no suggestion that Obama or anyone in his transition team had acted improperly.
So where was this written? WND? National Review? Maybe it is this guy, writing somewhere else?
Here it is.
Additional note – I almost made a new post but thought I could just add this here. Emanuel just doesn’t want to say anything:
ABC News’ Rick Klein and Gregory Simmons Report: Incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel skated past a reporter’s question — just about literally — outside his icy Chicago home Monday morning.
ABC’s Bret Hovell caught up with him long enough to ask whether he plans on meeting with the U.S. attorney about the scandal involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill. — but, in Emanuel’s words, the “sliding” got in the way.
Emanuel is under heightened scrutiny in the wake of published reports that indicate that he was in touch with Blagojevich’s office about possible replacements for President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.
EMANUEL: “How are you?”
ABC NEWS: “I’m doing well, thank you.”
EMANUEL: “You guys got good holiday plans?”
ABC: “Hopefully yes. Now are you, have you…”
EMANUEL: “Can you hold on one second since I’m sliding? Thanks. Thank you.”
[Gets into the car and starts to shut the door.]
EMANUEL: “Keep yourself warm guys.”
ABC: “Sir do you have any plans to meet with the U.S. Attorney?”
[Shuts the car door.]
One thought on “Questions about the Blagojevich scandal: Name that website”
Now that is some hard hitting journalism by our friends at ABC.
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