"Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "staggering" level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office.
Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning--one day shy of his 52nd birthday.
. . . .
The stunning, early morning arrest came amid revelations that federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators turned to the possibility that Blagojevich's appointment to the Senate had become tainted by pay-to-play politics.
The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state's next senator in weeks.
Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes at about 6:15 a.m., according to the FBI. They were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago. Blagojevich is slated to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan today, according to Randall Samborn of the U.S. attorney's office.
On the issue of the U.S. Senate seat that Obama resigned Nov. 16, federal prosecutors said they had numerous recorded conversations of Blagojevich discussing the merits of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois as well as the financial and political benefits he and his wife, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, could receive."
Hopefully, this crook will resign ASAP.