Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is on the stand again today in his criminal corruption retrial and is being cross examined about alleged schemes dealing with now Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the appointment of now White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama after he was elected president.
Read all about it over at the Sun-Times Blago Blog, with Sun-Times federal courts reporter Natasha Korecki, Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney, political writer Abdon M. Pallasch and Lark Turner.
While these plots have been reported earlier by the Sun-Times--and covered in Blagojevich's first trial last summer--hearing details from Blagojevich himself under sworn testimony for the first time is new.
We've heard it before, but bears repeating since it's from Blagojevich's mouth:
Blagojevich was asked if then newly designated White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was pushing him to appoint Jarrett as senator to get her out of the White House.
"You believed Rahm Emanuel wanted her out of the White House?" federal prosecutor Reid Schar asked
"Yes," Blagojevich said.
Blagojevich testified that he and Emanuel explored whether Blagojevich could appoint a place holder to the House seat Emanuel was vacating to become Obama's White House Chief of Staff.
MY POINT: Unlike Senate openings, the Constitution calls for House vacancies to be filled by elections--not appointments. So Emanuel and Blagojevich thought they could get around the Constitution?