Reporting with Sarah Ostman
In another phone call, this one on Nov. 7, 2008, Rod Blagojevich is debriefing John Harris about a conversation he had with Doug Scofield.
Scofield, a onetime Blagojevich campaign spokesman/consultant and Blagojevich discussed how the Obama camp responded to Rod Blagojevich after he met with union leader Tom Balanoff about the Senate seat appointment. In that meeting, Blagojevich made it clear he wanted a presidential cabinet position.
"Didn't know quite what to make of my request. Barack really wants to get away from Illinois politics," Blagojevich said.
Harris testifies that Blagojevich told him he believed then-President-Elect Obama knew Blagojevich wanted a cabinet post in exchange for appointing Obama friend Valerie Jarrett.
"(Blagojevich) feels very confident that the president understands that the governor would be willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets what he's asked for," Harris, Blagojevich's former chief of staff, testified, as he explained the recording, continuing: "The governor gets the cabinet appointment he's asked for."
Obama's internal report about his staff's contacts with Blagojevich at the time, indicates that Balanoff relayed to Jarrett that Blagojevich was interested in a Health and Human Services cabinet post. The report says Jarrett did not in her mind link the cabinet post request to her appointment to the Senate seat.
In the same call, Harris is overheard talking about getting a message from Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
"So Alexi called me. He wanted to have a discussion about the Senate seat," John Harris is heard telling Blagojevich. "I imagine he'll tell me ... Barack wants Valerie."
Blagojevich: "Listen to me, don't see him today. Just ... let's run the clock now."