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Blagojevich tried to extort Rahm Emanuel, new indictment charges


Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was re-indicted on Thursday, with eight new corruption charges added, including extortion of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel back when he was a congressman along with one of his brothers. Read the indictment here. Read Sun-Times federal court reporter Natasha Korecki's report here.

From the indictment:

Solicitation of United States Congressman A
21. In or about 2006, after United States Congressman A inquired about
the status of a $2 million grant for the benefit of a publicly-supported school,
defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH instructed Harris not to release the grant until
further direction from ROD BLAGOJEVICH, even though ROD BLAGOJEVICH
previously had agreed to support the grant and funding for the grant had been
included in the state's budget.

22. In response to inquiries by a high-ranking state official as to
whether the grant money could be released, defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH
informed the official that ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted it communicated to
United States Congressman A that United States Congressman A's brother
needed to have a fundraiser for ROD BLAGOJEVICH.

23. Defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Lobbyist A that ROD
BLAGOJEVICH was giving a $2 million grant to a school in United States
Congressman A's district and instructed Lobbyist A to approach United States
Congressman A for a fundraiser.

24. After defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH learned from Harris that the
school had started to incur expenses that were to be paid with the grant funds,
ROD BLAGOJEVICH initially resisted the release of the grant money, and then
ultimately agreed to the release of certain of the grant funds to cover incurred
expenses, but only on a delayed basis, even though no fundraiser had been held.


I don't think anything new is contained in this updated indictment is there? As far as the extotion attempt I believe that was reported on too. What I am most interested in is what role Rahm Emanuel had in attempting to keep his "seat warm" and what if any attempts were made by Emanuel to assure a preferred choice for Obama's old seat, again reported on.

Do you think that Rahm and many others are a little afraid of what will come out during the trial? And with the trial set to start in June, what effect will it have on other national races and of course the race in Illinois.

Don't know about you but I certainly am waiting for some new revelations to come out at trial. I am sure Blagojevich will not spare anyone since he feels he was abandoned!

I was just wondering - if you don't agree with a comment because of your political preference will you print it anyway? I believe censorship of any kind goes against the same first amendment rights journalists enjoy. That would certainly make me wonder of the validity of any commentary by you. So far yours is the only blog that I have responded to that refuses to print an opposing view. I just don't think one can have it both ways considering your freedom of speech priviliges.

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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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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 4, 2010 5:07 PM.

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