Move along, folks, nothing to see here: Obama on Blagojevich
President-elect Barack Obama re-reexplains the delay in releasing the promised list of contacts between his office and that of accused Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich over filling Obama's now vacant U.S. Senate seat.
We have two news videos this morning. One just below shows Obama's own words on the Blagojevich case. And the other on the jump (click the "Read more" line) covers the Illinois Legislature's first day of gubernatorial impeachment proceedings in Springfield.
According to Obama, the contact chronology and list are complete and do not contradict his statement last week that nothing inappropriate was done by him or his staff.
But no one can see it yet.
He says the Chicago office of U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, who announced the shocking wiretaps and bugs last week, has asked Obama to withhold the information for another week because it might somehow compromise the ongoing FBI investigation into what Obama calls "these appalling set of circumstances" involving accusations the governor was auctioning off the seat and other services for money.
Obama on Tuesday cut off a reporter's question seeking clarification on the apparent contradiction between his early statements that he would not seek to influence the choice of his Senate successor and recent revelations of Obama staff meetings, apparently documented on clandestine federal recordings, of just such meetings.
These most likely involve Obama's new White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a close friend and political ally of Blagojevich within the Chicago Democratic political machine who inherited the governor's North Side House seat in 2002.
Now, view the two videos below.
Photo credit: Paul Beaty / Associated Press
On the first day of gubernatorial impeachment proceedings, Illinois state legislators try to explain what they're doing and hope to do in the state's legally uncharted impeachment waters.