President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had direct discussions with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the Senate seat he is accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder.
That’s what knowledgeable sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times, which reports that Emanuel was more deeply involved in the Senate seat appointment than previously disclosed.
An Obama team insider has denied that Emanuel spoke with Blagojevich directly about the seat vacated by Obama. But sources told the Sun-Times that Emanuel did have discussions with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and urged the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the seat.
Jarrett is Obama’s longtime friend and adviser and co-chair of his transition team.
The sources said Blagojevich told aides about the discussions with Emanuel, and some of the conversations were most likely caught on tape.
Released portions of federal wiretaps reveal Blagojevich complaining that Obama would not offer anything in return for a Jarrett appointment.
Blagojevich’s attorney Ed Genson has called efforts to impeach the governor “Alice in Wonderland” and claims that the federal wiretaps were illegal.
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