Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Witness: Blagojevich said Obama knew governor wanted cabinet post for Jarrett appointment

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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."

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1 Comment

"The accounts support your statement on December 11, 2008 that you "have never spoken to the Governor on this subject [or] about these issues," and that you "had no contact with the Governor's office." In addition, the accounts contain no indication of inappropriate discussions with the Governor or anyone from his office about a "deal" or a quid pro quo arrangement in which he would receive a personal benefit in return for any specific appointment to fill the vacancy."

When Obama stated , "have never spoken to the Governor" bla bla bla, he wasn't lieing, he spoke to SEIU Balenoff to do his dirty work...Barack was just taking a page from Clinton's book, " I did not have sex with that women" cigar's don't count.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 23, 2010 2:40 PM.

Rod Blagojevich snaps at Patti on recording: "You're just wasting f-ing time!" was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich on Jarrett: "How bad does she want to be U.S. Senator?" is the next entry in this blog.

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