December 29th, 2008
02:15 PM ET
8 months ago

Emanuel tenders House resignation letter to Blagojevich

Rahm Emanuel, pictured in this 2003 file photo with Blagojevich, released a resignation letter to the Illinois governor Monday.
Rahm Emanuel, pictured in this 2003 file photo with Blagojevich, released a resignation letter to the Illinois governor Monday.

(CNN) – President-elect Obama’s team, which spent weeks documenting chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s contact with Rod Blagojevich, got another entry for the list Monday, when the Illinois congressman sent a resignation letter to his state’s embattled governor.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people the Fifth District [of Illinois] over the past six years,” Emanuel writes in the letter to the man who once held his House seat, announcing that his resignation from the House will take effect on January 2, 2009.

“As sons of immigrants to this country,” writes Emanuel, “you and I have a deep appreciation for the opportunities America provides to those who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for their children.” As the letter ends, he offers the scandal-scarred governor his “gratitude and best wishes.”

Read: Emanuel's letter to Blagojevich

An internal investigation cleared Emanuel and the rest of Obama’s transition team of any wrongdoing in Blagojevich’s alleged plan to trade an appointment to Obama’s U.S. Senate seat for political favors.

The Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Blagojevich reconvened Monday and is hearing argument from the governor’s attorney.

In conjunction with the letter released Monday, Emanuel also sent automated calls to residents in his congressional district notifying them of his impending resignation.

Blagojevich himself was elected to the Illinois Fifth District’s House seat in 1996.


Filed under: Rahm Emanuel • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why would this go to the governor? I could understand a letter to the Speaker of the House with a copy to the governor. I wonder how long it will take to get someone to cover that seat and how much it would cost?

    December 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Brian

    Just as they say crooks stick together.

    December 29, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Jeff From Jersey

    Don't call me ,I'll call you....NOT!

    December 29, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. umu ule

    way to go. I like people that do the right thing. Good luck emmanuel

    December 29, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Richard Rohde

    Did SEIU find the perfect replacement? Another community organizer from Chicago that is pure and untainted like Hussein?

    December 29, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Brian - Trinidad

    Where is the promised change?It certainly looks like Obama is continuing the politics-as-usual Washington habits by operating as close to but not lower than and certainly not higher than the letter of the law.If we needed 2 weeks of investigations to 'clear' Obama's team,then they were doing a borderline law-breaking operation.And that's the beginning of the Obama Presidency?Operating more like Nixon?Where's the Jack Kennedy clone that we were promised?

    December 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. mike

    Now we can move on!

    December 29, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Time for Blago to write a letter of his own.

    December 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. tired of corporate politics

    " internal investigation cleared Emanuel and the rest of Obama’s transition team "

    What a joke – I am sure Nixon's review of his own crimes didn't find anything wrong either.

    And Bush siad he didn't lie about WMD in Iraq. Etc, etc.

    December 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Oooo... so warm, yet so cold. There is much soul searching going on in Chicago these days. Who woulda thunk... a President would have emerged from this place? A governor would have fallen as a result? Mr Emanuel, like PE Obama... seems to be very capable to handle the transformational politiking happening in Chicago. I truly hope he's on the up and up.

    December 29, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Albo58

    History shows that no rats ever went down with a ship!

    December 29, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. J.P.

    "I did not have communications, with that man, Blago..."

    Uh, where have we heard this line of bull before? Sorry, I was distracted, looking up the latest definition of the word "is."

    December 29, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Kevin B

    For those folks looking for dirt here....It is proper protocol to copy the chief executive upon resigning such a position. Even if the said executive is under scrutiny (read; dirtbag).

    Much to your disappoinment. There is no there, there.............!

    Time to move on folks...............you are starting to sound a little desperate.

    December 29, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Richard Rohde

    Cindy, having lived close to the cesspool that is Chicago, I am sad to inform you there is no such thing as an up and up Chicago politician, there never has been such a thing in Chicago. It is unions and organized crime that run Chicago. Why do you think some one like Bill Ayers found a home there? Rev Wright and Louis Farakhan, not to mention the extortionist Jesse Jackson and his spawn.

    December 29, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Richard Rohde

    Let me get this straight, I just did an internal investigation and I clear myself of any animosity to the thugs who are about to take over this country. Okay, now lets get a move on, nothing to see here, don't look to close.

    December 29, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Franky

    "CNN’s Ed Henry decides to follow Obama’s rigorous work-out schedule. But does he have what it takes to look like the President-elect?"

    LOL!!! Show em Ed!! Show my boy how to work those biceps...LOL!!

    Man, Ed is in Hawaii, he has it all good over there, LOL!!

    December 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. joe smith

    no; the biggest joke is, our new president falling for that old trap of supporting you know who in the latest gaza skermish..didn't know there was oil in them there hills..

    December 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Once you vote Black

    Can you name a state that does not have someone like Blago? Give the guy a break. He is not guilty just because the media says he is. Stand by for the proof.

    December 29, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. AnaB

    Richard Rohde: The attorney general also said Obama is not implicated in this. Where is your evidence that he has anything to do with this?

    December 29, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Tom in Fl

    This guy Richard is a real piece of work! He is probably one of many that voted wrong and didn't like the outcome. Almost like a kid that says "I'll just take my ball and go home if it's not by my rules."

    December 29, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. M J

    I think it is time to rest Bill Ayers and Rev Wright. I am tired of Republican mentioning these people every other minute of the day. Every politician known to man has dealt with one loose person or another. I do not believe everything my Pastor say or think. I can not know the background of everyone I work with, especially if they are much older than me and we both served on a board of a community project for youth started by a former Reagan politician. Who in the hell could have known about Ayers, especially when this guy get Chicago best citizen award. Can you honestly look at your co-worker and take responsibility for them. That's why companies do back ground checks. It was not Obama's responsibility to do that. Please people get a grip. Let every man be responsible for themselves. But, If I am listening to most of you out there, if I am Catholic, that means I am just like the pastor that touch those little boys, or I am atleast responsible for them. Right!

    December 29, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Richard Rohde

    This country is now run by Democrats, you don't need evidence all you need to do is mention that someone is a republican to Keith Olberman or John Stewart and they are put in the box.

    December 29, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Obama63

    Where were you all when Bush was stepping on your rights and treating you as trash good only for votes? Now you REALLY need to take on Obama and his team, since you all were so courageous with the previous administration!
    Funny to see how now you all are appalled by the Washington ways to manage politics, while voted TWICE for Bush! Isn’t that ironic? Some of you really deserve what you all got during these last 8 years!
    Hope you won’t have the courage to complain any further! You voted for it and now criticize somebody who is not even the President yet! Just unbelievable! Wondering why US is at the bottom of the most educated countries in the world? Read the comments in this blog and you'll have your answer.

    December 29, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. obama08

    Let's see...One more congressional seat and I can retire...
    First, there was Obama's senate position, which Jesse Jr paid me a hansome price. Next, I need to fill Jesse's seat. And now, Emanual's seat. Boy, this is getting better all the time. I can still make some more bank from the Obama infrastructure contracts, and hopefully I can still keep my governor's day job. Does anyone know a good barber?

    December 29, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Matthew, Houston, TX

    The internal investigation was vetted by the Republican prosecuting attorney who had previously said that PE Obama and his transition team had done nothing wrong. Get it through your thick heads that PE Obama had NOTHING to do with this and acted totally above board. The delay in releasing the internal investigation was AT THE REQUEST OF the prosecuting attorney.

    Give it up Richard Rohde, Brian, Brian – Trinidad, tired of corporate politics and all of you idiots who ignore these facts. You've got nothing because there is nothing there. If you have actual, verifiable proof of wrong doing, tell Mr. Fitzgerald, otherwise STFU!!

    December 29, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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