An internal review requested by President-elect Barack Obama revealed no inappropriate communication between Obama’s transition team and Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office, and confirmed that he had no contact with Blagojevich or anyone from his of
An internal review requested by President-elect Barack Obama revealed no inappropriate communication between Obama’s transition team and Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office, and confirmed that he had no contact with Blagojevich or anyone from his office.
However, members of his transition team and an associate–Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Eric Whitaker–did have communication with the governor’s office.
“All these conversations were completely innocent. Everybody behaved appropriately,” incoming White House attorney Greg Craig said during a Tuesday conference call with reporters to discuss the report.
The report was held for a week at the request of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who filed a criminal complaint against Blagojevich. The governor and his former chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by the FBI on Dec. 9 on corruption charges, including trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
Craig said the only person on Obama’s staff who communicated directly with the governor was Emanuel.
They talked about Emanuel’s resignation to become the president-elect’s chief of staff and potential candidates for his replacement, according to the report.
The five-page report also revealed who the president-elect had on his wish list to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
With Obama’s authorization, Emanuel submitted six names to Harris for the governor’s consideration for the Senate seat vacated by Obama.
Jarrett’s name was on the list, but after she took herself out of the running to accept the White House post, Emanuel presented U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Dan Hynes, Illinois Veteran Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth, Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as names to be added to “the pool of qualified candidates who might be already under consideration,” according to the report.
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