Chicago Sun-Times
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Emanuel's deeper involvement in pressing for Jarrett Senate appointment

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My Sun-Times colleagues Natasha Korecki and Fran Spielman in a story in the Thusday paper report Rahm Emanuel's involvement in pushing Gov. Blagojevich to appoint Valerie Jarrett to replace President elect Barack Obama was deeper than previously known.

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times Federal Courts Reporter

CHICAGO--President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.

Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.

A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post.

But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.

At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said.

After Jarrett took herself out of the running in mid-November, Emanuel submitted a list of suitable names to the governor's camp that didn't include her name.

Emanuel, who has refused to comment on the issue, is not accused of wrongdoing.

In portions of conversations released in a criminal complaint against Blagojevich, he can be heard complaining that Obama wouldn't give anything in return for a Jarrett appointment.

Contributing: Fran Spielman

7 Comments

Why is normal political behavior suddenly being demonized?
And by a republican prosecutor who REFUSED to go after Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George Bush.
I guess we now know how Fitz kept his job.
I used to think he was an independent, honorable kind of Repugnican.
His shameful display of his evidence OUTSIDE THE COURT OF LAW has eroded my confidence in him.
And the pursuit of this story to demonize the Obama Biden transition period is becoming very tedious.
I think journalists really need to look in the mirror and ask themselves:
Why didn't I cover story x or y sooner?
Why didn't I think it important to stay focused on the MILLIONS of deaths caused by George Bush first, (Bill Clinton too--as he did not stop the bombings or seek any repairs to Iraq), Shrub Bush the second;
Why didn't I think it important to stay focused on the erosion on constitutional rights for EVERYONE?

lol...president elect-fool. and some think bush was a hoot...here we go again.

"Why is normal political behavior suddenly being demonized?"

Why is supposedly "normal political behavior" being denied, mischaracterized and partially revised by Obama?

"Why is normal political behavior suddenly being demonized?" Huh?!?!?!?!

Wow, I cut back on my caffeine if I were you. MILLIONS of deaths? Sorry, Dorothy but making up 'facts' to support your wacky full of holes arguments is something left on the school yard in 3rd grade.

While you are on such a roll, go ask yourself why Tim Russert was indicted for divulging Valerie's name?

The paranoid will always claim their constitutional rights are being reduced. Join the crowd of kool-aid drinking, factually challenged and blinder wearing followers. You're not alone....or are you?

Keep ignoring the connections between Barrack and Blago, shut your eyes when digging into Bill's foundation donors and keep dreaming more government will help you.

One of Colin Powell's aides leaks the name of a CIA agent who lives in Virginia and improperly assigned her husband to a fact finding mission - IMPEACH BUSH!

Being privy to the fact that the governor is trying to sell a senate seat and not doing anything about it - normal political behavior.

Moonbats are already in knots and Obama hasn't even been sworn in!


"Why is normal political behavior suddenly being demonized?"

Politicians usually get in trouble for the cover-up, not the crime.

We as the people hire the government officials, we have the right to fire them too
I am sorry, I can't excuse or blow off "normal political behavior" just because criminal intent as become the normal and expected. This way of mentality is what has allowed the government to run all over us

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 18, 2008 7:49 AM.

Until Blagojevich mess, Obama COS Emanuel mulling installing placeholder in his House seat so he could reclaim it later was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama transition team meets with Jewish groups Thursday is the next entry in this blog.

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