Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blagojevich Busted

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff are arrested at their homes this morning on federal corruption charges.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says Gov. Blagojevich tried to sell the appointment to Barack Obama's Senate seat. The Governor was taken by F.B.I. agents from his home at 6 a.m. in handcuffs. Blagojevich at first reportedly thought it was a joke.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald says the Governor's conduct "would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."
NBC's Pete Williams: Charges came today to "put an end to what could have been a disaster for the state and the nation."

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: "The most cynical interpretation of politics is completely justified based on how Governor Blagojevich appears to have run his office. The idea that Blagojevich would appoint someone because they might be a good Senator seems never to have crossed his mind. It is all about how he could get more money, how he could get money for his wife, how he could advance his political career, how he could set himself up to run for president in 2016."

There's no indication Obama knew anything about Blagojevich's intentions. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Having read through the charging document twice, there's no evidence whatsoever that anyone associated with the Obama presidential transition did anything improper. Obama is barely mentioned."

The Illinois Constitution requires that the sitting Governor alone has the power to appoint President-elect Obama's Senate replacement. Unless Gov. Blagojevich decides to step aside pending a trial, he will name Obama's successor. The state legislature could move to impeach him.


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