December 28th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Panel investigating Blagojevich won't subpoena Obama advisers

A panel is investigating whether there are grounds to impeach Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
A panel is investigating whether there are grounds to impeach Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

(CNN) - The Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not subpoena advisers to President-elect Barack Obama, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, after being told by prosecutors that their testimony could jeopardize the ongoing criminal
investigation, the panel's chairwoman said Sunday.

The impeachment panel was urged to issue the subpoenas last week in a letter from Blagojevich's attorney, Ed Genson. Genson urged that more than a dozen witnesses including Emanuel be subpoenaed.

But U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald advised the state impeachment panel that testimony from Obama aides could jeopardize the criminal probe, Illinois Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie told CNN Radio.

Fitzgerald has previously expressed concern about the impeachment panel interfering with his investigation.

Currie said she received the letter from Fitzgerald on Friday, and
although her panel will meet on Monday and might hear from Blagojevich's attorney, there will be no subpoenas of Obama advisers including Emanuel, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois or others Genson had asked to hear from.

Calls to Fitzgerald's office Sunday were not immediately returned.

Currie said her committee has offered Genson the opportunity at its
meeting Monday to present information about his defense of the governor.

Currie said she does not know how long the committee will continue to
meet. Several people who have come forward suggesting they might have relevant information, and the panel is working to see exactly what that might be.

She said the panel has not heard from Fitzgerald on the issue of whether access to audio tapes of Blagojevich will be granted to the committee.

Contacted at his office Sunday, Genson said he would be at the committee meeting Monday, but would not discuss his plans. "I don't want to say today what I'll be saying tomorrow," he said.

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on December 9 after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had tried to "sell" Obama's former Senate seat. It is the sole authority of the Illinois governor to name a successor who would serve the remaining two years of Obama's term.

Facing federal corruption charges, Blagojevich was released from custody on bond.

According to an internal report compiled by the Obama transition team, Obama was interviewed by Fitzgerald's office on December 19, as was Jarrett. Emanuel was interviewed the next day.

The internal report, drafted by Greg Craig, Obama's choice for White House counsel, concluded that neither Obama nor his aides had any "inappropriate" contact with Blagojevich or Blagojevich's staff.


Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Union Flag

    The South has fallen again.

    December 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Trollmaster

    When this weasel Blagojevich is found guilty, throw him in a real prison where he has to mingle with hardcore prison gang members where he's in danger of great bodily harm all the time.

    Do this to a few corrupt politicians and this problem will end overnight.

    December 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Proud American

    Why Obama and his admin. have nothing to do with the idiot Gov. of ILL. Move on republicans

    December 28, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. BUSH BEGONE AND 75% OF AMERICANS FINALLY AGREE!

    Looks like Fitzgerald is trying to blame the impeachment panel for the impending failure of his investigation. He is looking to blame someone because he sprung the trap too soon, and Blago will walk.

    Of course, this will not stop the Republican knuckle-draggers from still trying to tie Obama to Blago, they will just add it to the "missing birth certificate" conspiracy being hidden by the MSM!

    December 28, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Lauren

    Of course not,,, they do not want the Chosen one to have a scandal. Bury it, just like they always do.

    December 28, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Texas Teacher

    Well alas..... You know, not everything that happens in that state is Obama's fault! He was after all not long in politics there. And I think it would have been pure ignorance and stupidity to have engaged in such behavior in his desire to work for a better government! Give the man a little credit. Good ole boy politics does not coincide with his political views! Not in my book or HIS! :)

    December 28, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Bush Beat you democrats twice, so who is the IDIOT?

    Of course they wont. You got to protect Rambo and Obama. Chicago Politics at its Finest.

    December 28, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Jason

    Blago is putting his own interests ahead of those of the entire country. Obama and his team are needed to fix the economy, deal with two wars, and everything else, while Blago's lawyer is trying to subpoena Rahm Emmanuel. This is a selfish act and he needs to resign now.

    December 28, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. As long as Blago goes to jail

    people I imagine will feel slightly better about our goverment

    I will, he needs to go with Bush, Cheney and his cabinet

    December 28, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Milhouse van Houten

    Everybody that has to be called upon to get to the bottom of this mess,
    should be.Neither political stature nor position should be used to sweep the truth under the rug.

    December 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. roger in ga

    I think Gov.Blagojevich is going to do everything he can to bring down the state of IL. and to taint the Presidency of PE Obama. This is a man that has feelings or cares for nothing and no one other than himself.

    I do ot want to see them throw the book at him. They should throw the entire cell block at him.

    December 28, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Godluvr

    Common sense and respect trumps stupidity again!

    December 28, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Illinios according to corruption ranking was 6th

    Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennesee, Missippi all beat Illinios out for severity and type of corruption according to a recent study

    Makes an interesting topic about what is going on in those states

    Send Blago, Bush and his contemporaries to jail

    December 28, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Sanity has Returned

    Bush Beat you democrats twice, so who is the IDIOT? December 28th, 2008 4:06 pm ET Said:

    Of course they wont. You got to protect Rambo and Obama. Chicago Politics at its Finest.

    Didn't you bother to read the article? This has nothing to do with Chicago politics and everything to do with jeopardizing a Federal Investigation by a Republican appointed Special Prosecutor. Grow a brain would ya instead of playing Rush Limbaugh politics?

    December 28, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. No Hillary = No Obama

    Where did it say Obama was born? Just wondering.

    December 28, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Pat in IL

    Blago and his lawyers are trying to do everything they can to turn this into a circus. "Not guilty"??? For heaven sake, they have him on several tapes! He needs to resign.

    December 28, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Lyndon from CA

    Oh, how fortunate for the transition team.

    December 28, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. J-Syxx

    " Bush Beat you democrats twice, so who is the IDIOT?" You for voting for him pal. Better get used to reminiscing about the old times because the Republicons aren't winning another election for a very long time.

    December 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. PJP in OK

    Gov.Blagojevich is going to try and not go down alone! Go get 'em boys!!!!

    December 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. tommy

    Government Cover-Up at its finest.......

    I laugh at those who criticize Blago for "trying" to bring down everyone around him.

    He should bring them down, those that played by the same rules are turning their backs now that their tactics have been made public.

    He should be praised now as exposing the whole philosophy how politics really do business.

    Shame on the media if THEY try burying this also............

    December 28, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. tee

    Lauren

    There is nothing to bury. You haven't figured that out by now?

    December 28, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Sherrol in Canada

    Enough said!!

    December 28, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Meka

    @ Lauren

    President Obama is attempting to improve EDUCATION. That means, ENHANCING YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO THE FACTS !

    December 28, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Angie

    Texas Teacher December 28th, 2008 4:03 pm ET

    I agree. But as you can tell by the other postings there are haters. That govenors problems are all his own. People want to blame EVERYTHING on President elect Obama. What about the mess dumb,dumb bush is leaving behind. A war that has taken over 4,000 American lives, unemployment , people lossing their homes. These problems were caused by the village idiot bush/crazy cheney. President Clinton had to clean up after a bush and President elect Obama will have to clean up after another bush. The people that voted for bush are the idiots, he jacked them as well. Most of the people that voted for bush are just working people that he has put out of work and their homes. And it seems most of them woke up, that is why the sorry repubs lost so badly. They need to wake up and realize they are not the only people in this world. repubs are greedy,selfish people.

    December 28, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. @Bush beat you Dems. Twice

    I just laugh at your username. He stole the first election, and narrowly won the second.

    Go back to Alaska, you scum. Obama is not guilty of anything except being targeted by right-wing fanatics like you who have been the cause of destruction.

    December 28, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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