Barack Obama | Illinois | News | Rod Blagojevich

IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich Arrested, Tried to Sell Obama Senate Seat

BlagojevichIllinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested by the FBI this morning on federal corruption charges astonishing in their breadth.

Here's a video of Blagojevich the day before yesterday.

Reuters reports:

"Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on criminal charges on Tuesday, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat President-elect Barack Obama, federal prosecutors said. Blagojevich was also accused of threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of the Chicago Cubs' baseball home Wrigley Field 'to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical' of him. The 51-year-old Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were charged in a 76-page federal indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Both were taken into custody at their homes in Chicago."

DailyKOS: Rahm Emanuel brought down Blagojevich, Obama wouldn't play ball...

Chicago Tribune updates...

Video of Blagojevich the day before yesterday, and a report from the special agent who arrested him this morning on how the arrest went down, AFTER THE JUMP...

And the breaking news report:

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  1. Good! He was a smarmy, sleazy crook has no place in the new and improved Democratic Party. He has been, for a long while, the shoe that's been waiting to drop. I say good riddance.

    I don't know much about the Lt. Gov. who will take over but I do know that he is a lifelong Democrat so Obama's replacement should be safe.

    Posted by: Zeke | Dec 9, 2008 12:15:48 PM

  2. he should be arrested for that toupee.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Dec 9, 2008 12:19:35 PM

  3. I am reading a copy of the indictment and the FBI is elaborating on the arrest right now on live TV. If he is found guilty of all the charges against him, he will end up sharing a cell with his predecessor, former Illinois Gov. Ryan. It's really BAD.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Dec 9, 2008 12:25:21 PM

  4. I just read a lot of the quotes from the investigation. I can't see any way for him to wiggle out of this (although with Chicago politics as it is, who knows). He basically demanded that he either be paid well to place someone in the seat or he would take it himself. WOW! My hope would be that the democratic party will fully condemn his actions and make it clear that this is not what the democratic party is about.

    Posted by: BC | Dec 9, 2008 12:31:43 PM

  5. Dear lord what is that thing on his head?

    Posted by: John M | Dec 9, 2008 12:33:15 PM

  6. Thats Chicago. Lets hope Obama does not bring anyone like this to Washington DC

    Posted by: brian C | Dec 9, 2008 12:49:17 PM

  7. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is a respectable replacement. He's a large consumer rights activist and has served the Illinois government honorably. I can't wait for him to take the reins!

    Posted by: Ox | Dec 9, 2008 1:03:03 PM

  8. He's "...frustrated at being 'stuck' as governor"? Well, I would say this scumbag is no longer stuck. Perhaps he won't sound so bored with 3 hots and a cot?

    What is is with our elected leadership? Holy crap, can we get one ethical person in charge of a state (our RI governor has pinging on the radar's lately, as well).

    Posted by: Rad | Dec 9, 2008 1:52:38 PM

  9. Well, apparently it looks like Obama and Rahm Emanuel broght down Blagojevich.

    "Rahm Brought Down Blagojevich! Team Obama Wouldn't Play Ball"

    Good on Rahm and Obama!

    Posted by: dj | Dec 9, 2008 2:06:42 PM

  10. At 1st I really thought he was trying to sell the seat he was sitting in at one time.

    Posted by: Q | Dec 9, 2008 2:23:02 PM

  11. As far as I can tell he got arrested for being a politician. You all do realize that this is how politics works, in reality. Back-door deals like he was discussing are the reality at all levels of government. So when are they going to arrest all the other politicians? Do you really think that Obama hasn't had private conversations like this? This is especially hypocritical coming from the Bush administration. He wasn't selling the seat for financial gain from what I've seen but political gain, which is how things get done in politics. Politics is inherently corrupt that is why it doesn't work the way the naive, gullible, and idealists think it should. It's the very rare person who acquires high office without making these kinds of deals. He should have been more subtle about it, instead of taking the more plain-spoken path that he did because he was under the mistaken assumption that his private conversation was in fact private.

    Everyone should operate under the assumption that their phone and other electronic conversations are being recorded.

    Also, from what I understand he was giving Bank of America and some other wealthy and powerful companies some grief over loans they wouldn't extend to Illinois based companies. I'm sure that is just a coincidence though. He will get off with a couple of years in jail and a fine. Politicians, like other thugs, protect their own.

    Posted by: Jason Young | Dec 10, 2008 4:30:42 AM

  12. It's not how "politics are done." He wanted identifiable monetary rewards for himself and his wife, and he demanded them in a blatant quid pro quo. That's extortion. It's not the same as "I'll do you a favor, and hope you'll do me one later." There's no law against creating good will. Blago was literally demanding cash for a Senate seat, and trying to extort the president-elect of the United States.

    He was also demanding the Tribune company fire editorial writers at the Chicago Tribune as a condition of receiving state funds.

    Posted by: Ben | Dec 10, 2008 5:47:12 AM

  13. Is this any different than the third-world countries politicians?

    Posted by: Prophecy | Dec 21, 2008 7:00:09 AM

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