[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/29/art.rahmblago1229.gi.jpg caption="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.”
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.