December 26th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Rahm Emanuel faces possible subpoena

Gov. Blagojevich's attorney urged the Illinois House panel to issue a subpoena to Barack Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Gov. Blagojevich's attorney urged the Illinois House panel to issue a subpoena to Barack Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

(CNN) - The Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich has received a letter from the governor's attorney urging the panel to issue subpoenas to more than a dozen potential witnesses, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Steve Brown, spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, confirms to CNN that the impeachment panel received the letter from Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson.

"The committee has taken that letter under advisement," said Brown, noting the panel's next meeting is Monday morning.

Even if the panel moved ahead with such subpoenas, however, they could still be blocked by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has previously expressed concern about the impeachment panel interfering with his ongoing criminal probe.

Nevertheless, the maneuvering by Blagojevich's camp could provide a distraction for President-elect Barack Obama and top aides just days after they tried to turn the page on the matter by issing an internal investigation claiming no wrongdoing by the transition team.

Genson, Blagojevich's attorney, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on his letter.

soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. gl, Pittsburgh

    bk – Sorry Obama is the man so get over it. Once you go black you never go back. The end of the white power and I see you whiter haters are really having a hard time dealing with your new black presidcent. Yu fools voted twice for the worst President in history. So how is really the one that needs their heads examined.

    December 26, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Sue

    Rahm will be grilled on what Obama offered the Gov of IL to keep his lady Valerie close to him.

    December 26, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. MikeH

    Seems reasonable to subpoena Rahm. Speaking in a legal forum may clean up his language, a bit, and the Feds can make sense of what Rahm was saying on the surveillance tapes.

    Rahm can hold his own with Blago when it comes to talking Sailor Talk. Can't wait for HBO to run the tapes so we can hear Rahm uncensored.

    That said, for now I think Rahm's ok. Time and testimony will tell.

    December 26, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. Polly

    Get it done.

    December 26, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Polly

    Nija-
    The most predictible scenario is that they will lie and try to cover their butts as long as they can. There is apparently some dirt being smelled here...

    December 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. Dave, Illinois

    I swear Emanuel is striking a Stewert Smalley pose in this photo – I'm from Chicago, I work for Teflon man, and by gosh I don't have to answer any questions if I don't wanna. I hope this soap opera ends one way or the other pretty soon for the good of the country.

    December 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Amp

    He could play the Joker with that picture, throw some make-up on and bingo, lol.

    December 26, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. Marc

    Indiana Voter – WHO is covering for whom? ANYONE that reads the charges against Blagojevitch (its a public document now, go search it and read it as it seems you haven't already) see that he is a slime, that he wanted money and more for the seat. The answer from the Obama camp? No, we won't pay. His answer? I can't write it here...
    Stop your pathetic attempts at spinning this... 'subpoena' is not 'indictment', it can be (roughly) translated 'come and testify/tell us what we want to hear', and besides it's not confirmed yet. And even if it is, and Emanuel is called, how can it affect directly PEOTUS Obama?
    I mean in the real world, not in your paranoid version of it?
    In the real world Blago & Co. were not liked either by the Dems and Republicans from Illinois. Of course they had to meet with him on a semi-regular basis (he's -still- the governor after all), so of course there must be photos of Blago with both Dems and Republicans in the file that the Feds have about him. But who, of both parties, was indicted along with Blago?

    December 26, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. La Gorda

    I don't think that the investigation of a federal attorney outweighs the right of the elected legislators of Illinois to consider the advisability of impeaching and removing an elected governor. The people do not have to suffer being governed by a man they believe to be using the office of governor in a criminal or corrupt way. The federal prosecutor does not have a "right" to prosecute criminals. He has a duty to do so, but his duty should not be construed so as to block elected governments from what they deem to be appropriate actions.

    Short version: it is more important for the state of Illinois to be governed honestly than for a crooked governor to get away unpunished (or punished lightly).

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. Richard Rohde

    Hey Noah, he is a democrat he can lie and then blame it on the Republicans, like William Jefferson, the congressman and the president, Charlie Rangel and the Fords of Memphis. Republicans resigne when they are caught dirty. The liberdems, blame it on those wascally wepublicans.

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. chuck

    RICHARD ROHDE. You sound like one broke idiot that got NOTHING for Christmas. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE AND LIFE WILL BE BETTER. THE DEMOCRATS RULE. JUST FACE THE FACTS MY FRIEND. BUSH,CHENEY AND RUMSFELD WILL ALL BE IN JAIL FOR WAR CRIMES. GOOD LUCK.

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The "Pretty Boys" of the democratic party Barack and Rahm like Bill Clinton can do no wrong. The womens vote went to Obama because like Bill Cinton they thought he was "Hot"! We will see if he is a real Commander in Chief who takes care of those in uniform who are willing to make a sacrafice that Obama can never compete with or understand or will he use them for photo ops like Bill did. I hope they do make Obama's staff testify since they are of the same Chicago Politics as Blago grew up in and the Messiah of the democrats grew up in.

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. Polly

    I think this soap opera might be on the air for awhile.

    December 26, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Polly

    wise guys.

    December 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. M Paul

    Remember that this prosecutor didn't bring Karl Rove and Dick Chenney to Justice after they committed to crime by revealing the name of the Valerie Palm (CIA operative) when they entire country found them guilty. This man is out there to get Obama and HOPE. If people of Illinois don't stop this nonesense, it will follow Obama to Washington. Emanuel was in charge of congressional campaign committee and had right to talk to the Gov anytime. Call it corruption now when you didn't use the same word for what Bush will leave behind in Washington (Justice, State, Energy, Commerce depts...)

    December 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Howard Roark

    A transition team loaded with lobbyists...a cabinet loaded with entrenched Washington politicians...yep, change you can believe in.

    December 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Chris

    Now I know why you Anglo-Sacson's hate other ethnics.
    He has a bushy hair while 99.9% of you are bald.
    Is that right Mr. Fitzgerald, you are sentencing people before they have a day in court.
    Is there anything in your law to send people like Patrick for breaking the law or this is democracy in its best !!!!

    December 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Ken

    Wow, White House personnel being subpoenaed before even entering the White House!!!

    Obama sets yet another record!!! Way to go B.O.

    December 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. yellow dog democrat

    Well its very easy to tell both from the bloggers on this subject (so negative) and people like Blogovich - they put themselves before country and progress for the average citizen - its a wonder to me how the system works at all!

    Its like the Bible – people will tend to pick and choose what fits their immediate need – and completely ignore the rest...

    IMAGINE – by John Lennon tells the story so clearly.......

    December 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Chris

    Rahm is trash, the guy has more skeletons in his closet than a haunted house, this subpoena is warranted.

    December 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Sherrol in Canada

    I'd imagine that Rhambo and Blago had some colourful conversations, but Rhambo not doing anything that would jeopardize the Obama presidency.

    Let's just wait and see what the outcome will be.

    December 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. show me state

    WELL THEY HAVE SHOWN ME THAT , MORE YOU TELL LIES , AND DO IT LONG ENEOUGH ,PEOPLE WILL START BELIVING YOU. FOR 2 YRS THATS ALL WE HAVE HEARD . SO WHERE IS THE CHANGE .

    WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT , AFTER ALL THE ATTORNEY FEES , THIS IS THE CHANGE LEFT OVER FROM ALL THOSE MILLIONS FROM THOSE OVER SEA'S DONATIONS .

    NOW THEY ARE ADDING ANOTHER ONE FOR THE SENATE , THAT JUST HAS RING TONE TO DC POLITICS .
    BEWARE ONE OF THESE DAY'S THEY WILL BE APPOINTING CHARVEZ , OR AHMADINEJAD FOR CLIMATE CHANGE. BEFORE GORES LIES ARE REDUCED TO FABRICATED LIES . LIKE SOME ONE SAID, CHICAGO POLITICS WILL ALWAYS BE AROUND. CORRECT.

    December 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Daniel

    Rahm is not guilty. He wouldn't do something like that. And bk...you're an idiot. Anyone who voted for McSame and that disgrace needs their heads examined.

    December 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. happy new year

    if he has nothing to hide, it won't be a big deal.

    December 26, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  25. Merle

    DECEMBER 21, 2012!!! OBAMA'S TERM ends 2012!!! AGH!!!

    December 26, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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