Illinois Governor arrested by the Feds

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Illinois Governor arrested by the Feds

"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.


I just read that on Huffpo.  Wow, some of those wiretaps are pretty damning if true.  He was really kickin' it old school.  I thought corrupt politicians had evolved a bit more subtlety over the generations, but this guy is just channeling Boss Tweed.


edited to add: well, I guess this pretty much cleans things up then, there couldn't be more like him in the system. (...*snort* ... *chuckle* )

martin dufresne

I wonder if the Reps and the Right in general will try to spin this to implicate Obama by association.

What next? The FBI showing up at Bush or Rice's door at 6:15 am for lying repeatedly about 9-11, weapons of mass destruction etc.?

aka Mycroft

So isn't this the second Illinois governor in a row to face criminal charges of corruption? (The last one was a Republican who is currently serving jail time - he's petitioning Bush for a pardon)


Yeah, George Ryan was the previous Governor.  In fact, this is the fourth Illinois governor in the last 40 years to be charged with corruption; the other three, including Ryan, served time in prison.,0,2403569.story





Well so much for the notion that prison time is a deterrance.



I don't think prison time is a deterent for white collar crimes or corrupt politicians.   However, it's valuable enough just for the entertainment.

 I heard Blagojevich's post arrest interview on CBC radio this 'aft.  He was pretty unrepentant.  Sounds to me like he's going to go down fighting. 

He also sounded a little looney.

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that when an elected official vacates a seat, that the replacement is appointed? Haven't they heard of a byelection?

Sven Sven's picture

martin dufresne wrote:

I wonder if the Reps and the Right in general will try to spin this to implicate Obama by association.

I've seen no evidence of them going after Obama.  Rahm Emanuel, on the other hand, may have some 'splainin' to do.  He's been UNUSUALLY mum. 





Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!


martin dufresne wrote:

I wonder if the Reps and the Right in general will try to spin this to implicate Obama by association.



Does a bear shit in the woods?  Their entire modus operandi is guilt/smear by association.


Conviction near.  Blago soon to be ex-Governor. 



Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been found guilty of trying to sell the US Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.

In his second trial in a US federal court in Chicago, Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 of 20 corruption charges.

He was also found guilty of trying to extort funds from a hospital executive.

The Democrat was arrested in December 2008 and ejected from office the following month. He had already been found guilty of lying to investigators.

Blagojevich faces a sentence of up to 300 years in prison.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture


Well good riddance... not to say he didn't have a swag about him that made him a most interesting person.