Thursday, April 22, 2010
Obama’s chronology of lies about Blagojevich
December 9, 2008 – abc news
"Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office today," said President-elect Obama this afternoon in Chicago, speaking of the criminal complaint against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption. "But as this is an ongoing investigation involving the governor I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."
Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."
Rewind to November 23, 2008 (two weeks earlier):
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
Oops, “Obama: Note to self: If I am going to lie, I need to make sure all our stories are straight.
But wait, there’s more:
Later that day (Dec 9, 2008) Since Obama had already, on camera, denied having ANY contact and then learned later that Axelrod said something different, earlier. Axelrod holds an impromptu press conference and issues a corrected statement saying:
"I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject."
Now (According to the recent Defense Court Pleading re-dacted and released today)
Obama had a secret phone call with Blagojevich
Redacted portion: President-elect Obama also spoke to Governor Blagojevich on December 1, 2008 in Philadelphia. On Harris Cell Phone Call # 139, John Harris and Governor’s legal counsel discuss a conversation Blagojevich had with President-elect Obama. The government claims a conspiracy existed from October 22, 2008 continuing through December 9, 2008.6 That conversation is relevant to the defense of the government’s theory of an ongoing conspiracy. Only Rod Blagojevich and President Obama can testify to the contents of that conversation. The defense is allowed to present evidence that corroborates the defendant’s testimony.
Riding to the rescue, White House Counsel (elect) Greg Craig (the same Greg Craig that resigned his post to land a job over at Goldman Sachs in time to provide for their defense against the recent SEC corruption charges that the Obama White House and Democrat lawmakers are using as the “poster child” for their latest Wall Street Banking legislation that Obama spoke in New York about today).
December 24, 2008, politico.com – Internal White House investigation over the Blagojevich/White Senate Seat Sale embarrassment described above:
“President-elect Barack Obama’s internal review found that Rahm Emanuel spoke several times to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his staff but did nothing wrong — pitching a number of Obama-backed candidates for his Senate seat but engaging in no improper deal-making.
The report does not say so, but an Obama adviser disclosed that at least one of Emanuel's calls was taped as part of a federal investigation into corruption in the governor's office.
Obama himself was interviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s office on Dec. 18 as part of the investigation, as was Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett on Dec. 19 and Emanuel on Dec. 20, the report said.
The internal inquiry by Greg Craig, the incoming White House counsel, found that Emanuel was the only Obama aide who talked to the governor or his staff about filling Obama's Senate seat – and had been personally authorized by Obama to suggest a half-dozen possible replacements to the governor’s office.
Emanuel spoke “one or two” times with Blagojevich, and also had "about four telephone conversations" with Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris, who recently resigned.
“My inquiry determined that there was nothing at all inappropriate about those conversations,” Craig told reporters on a conference call about the review. “Only one person associated with the transition that had any such contact with the governor or his staff, and those contacts were totally appropriate and acceptable."
The review backed up Obama’s prior statements that he personally had no contact with Blagojevich, and that his transition staff had acted properly.”
November 3, 2008 – Obama calls SIEU to contact Blagojevich
Again, according to the recent Blagojevich court filing today:
Obama may have overtly recommended Valerie Jarret for his Senate seat
Blagojevich's defense team basically alleges that Obama told a certain labor union official that he (Obama) would support Valerie Jarrett's candidacy for the Senate seat. Jarrett, referred to as "Senate Candidate B", is now a senior advisor to the president.
Redacted portion: Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president (see Politico article excerpt below referring to Andy Stern, SIEU President) told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official (Tom Balanoff – see below) on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official (Balanoff) listened to the message labor union official (Balanoff) told labor union president (Andy Stern) “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B (Valerie Jarrett) was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
Labor union official (Balanoff) told the FBI and the United States Attorneys “Obama expressed his belief that [Senate Candidate B] would be a good Senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election. [Labor union official] advised Obama that [labor union official] would reach out to Governor Blagojevich and advocate for [Senate Candidate B] ... [Labor union official] called [labor union president] and told [labor union president] that Obama was aware that [labor union official] would be reaching out to Blagojevich.” (Labor union official 302, February 3, 2009 p. 3).
According to the politico.com article concerning the Craig Investigation Report dated 12/24/08– “The report only lists one person in Obama’s inner circle who heard of Blagojevich’s interest in a Cabinet post — Jarrett, herself once a contender for the Senate seat.
A top Illinois official from the Service Employees International Union, Tom Balanoff, told Jarrett that he had spoken to Blagojevich about possibly picking Jarrett for the Senate seat. He also told Jarrett that the governor had raised the question of whether he might be picked for a Cabinet post.
Again, inconsistencies in the Obama circle and Craig’s report exonerating the Administration. The following except from Craig report states (on 12/24/08) “Emanuel spoke “one or two” times with Blagojevich, and also had "about four telephone conversations" with Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris, who recently resigned.”
Rewind to December 15th, 2008 (two week prior to report). Excerpt taken from an article in the Wall Street Journal:
“Barack Obama had begun thinking about his Senate successor even before the presidential election, and dispatched Rahm Emanuel days after the vote to contact aides of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to begin talking up Mr. Obama's preferred candidates, associates of Mr. Emanuel said this weekend.
Mr. Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago, had been approached about being Mr. Obama's White House chief of staff the week before the election, though he hadn't yet officially decided to take the post. Nonetheless, the issue of Mr. Obama's Senate replacement was sensitive enough that senior Obama aides wanted to keep the matter within the circle of Illinois political figures, according to people familiar with campaign deliberations at the time.
Among those in Mr. Obama's inner circle, Mr. Emanuel had one of the closest relationships to Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat. He had succeeded Mr. Blagojevich in 2002 to the House seat that covered Chicago's near north side.
Rahm Emanuel, left, a former Illinois congressman, worked in 2004 with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to promote cheaper prescriptions.
Mr. Emanuel didn't talk to Mr. Blagojevich directly about the matter, by phone or in person, according to people familiar with the matter. He spoke by phone with aides to the governor, those people say.
So, as you can see the statements coming from the Obama camp have been contradictory at best and criminal at worst. I find it hard to believe the former over the latter. When you put the Obama SEIU/ACORN relationship together, apart from the Blagojevich Senate Seat sale and expand the whole picture regarding the Union and ACORN controversies that surround things such as “illegal campaign contributions and fraud”. The SEIU beatings of tea party protesters and all of those visits by Andy Stern to the White House are all things to consider when putting together a picture of an Administration tied to the hip and knee deep in a legal abyss on multiple fronts.
One thing for sure is that the only consistent thing coming from the Obama administration over this Blagojevich criminal case is, well, inconsistency.