Skip to comments.Obama Cancels Meeting w/FBI Morning of Blagojevich Arrest - Why?
Posted on 12/13/2008 10:16:49 AM PST by IrishPennant
December 9, 2008 Obama Shifts Schedule Following Gov's Arrest @ 10:54 am by Michael O'Brien
President-elect Barack Obama has shifted his morning schedule amid the arrest of his home state governor Tuesday, pool reports said.
Federal authorities alleged in a complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) that, among other things, he sought to glean political or financial benefits in exchange for his appointment of a successor to replace Obama in the Senate.
"President-elect Obama was scheduled to travel this morning to the Chicago FBI briefing before his mid-day meeting with former Vice President Al Gore," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Weisman in the morning's first pool report. "But it has been announced that he will instead be going straight to his transition office."
It was not clear whether the change in plans was caused by the arrest of Blagojevich, but a pool spray of the president-elect will take place after Obama's meeting with Gore this morning, instead of before, as planned.
Does anyone have any insight into why Zer0 would have a meeting with the FBI in the Chicago field office?
Does Empty-Suit get regular briefings due to his transition office being located in Chicago? Were the G-men going to brief him on the arrest? Are the Feds and 0bomination going to come back and say Zer0 was working with them to clean up the corruption in Illinois?
I do find it interesting that the reported uses the words The in the following excerpt...to travel this morning to the Chicago FBI briefing...It almost sounds like a regularly scheduled event. Maybe I am reading too much into that.
ping - per your kind request
Those Fort Marcy shots absolutely kill me (oops...wrong word. The Stop Snitchin’ sign is the best, though!
Maybe he thought it was a sting.
How I wish!!!!
HT: Flopping Aces for wiretap conversations
9/17/08 0 calls Emil Jones about ethics bill
9/19/08 Blago calls the move a Republican trap, and brings up Rezkos name in a presser. I have a theory on what happened in the Rezko situation was a system, you know, sucked him in and then some lines were crossed and then that person found himself actually violating some of the rules, Blagojevich said.
10/07/08 Blago tells Rezko to tell the truth, the day after federal prosecutors indicated that the convicted fund-raiser might be cooperating with them. Rezko sentencing subsequently delayed.
10/12/08 Rezko starts talking.
10/17/08 Blago sends 0 message via Sun-Times Sneed, Who will it be?
10/21/08 Order was signed authorizing a 30-day interception of oral communications at Friends of Blago, Blagos personal office and the conference room and that it was begun on Oct. 22.
??? Feds ask Trib to hold the presses due to wire taps.
10/28/08 Goodbye gov? Sneed hears a plan is afoot to impeach Gov. Blagojevich following the presidential election next month. Word is the votes are there. Stay tuned.
10/31/08 I just dont want to jinx him and I dont like the karma of me thinking that far ahead, Blagojevich said of Obama s prospects in Tuesdays election. The governor added, We have had some discussions about a process which well share ... if all goes well.
Businessmen with ties to both Illinois Blago and JJJ discussed raising $1 million for 0s seat. Raghuveer Nayak and Blago aide Rajinder Bedi told attendees at an Oct. 31 meeting that they needed to raise the money for the governor to ensure JJJs appointment. Raghu said he needed to raise a million for Rod to make sure Jesse got the seat, an unidentified source who attended the meeting told the Tribune. Blago also attended the meeting, which was sponsored by Nayak, an Oak Brook businessman.
11/01/08 Source said that contact between the Obama camp and the governor's administration regarding the Senate seat began the Saturday before the Nov. 4 election, when Emanuel made a call to the cell phone of Harris. The conversation took place around the same time press reports surfaced about Emanuel being approached about taking the high-level White House post should Obama win. Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be “acceptable” to Obama, the source said. On the list were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Chicago, the source said. All are Democrats.
11/03/08 Wiretap conversation 1:
*Blagojevich and Deputy Governor A discuss the possibility of an open US Senate seat the day before the Presidential election
* Blagojevich threatens to assume the seat if he is not offered anything
* Blagojevich speaks with Advisor A
* Blagojevich tells Advisor A that he is aware of media reports of Senate Candidate 1s interest in the open US Senate seat; Blagojevich states he will only offer Valerie Jarrett the Senate seat if he gets something real good; he reiterates his intention to assume the seat and to drive a hard bargain
11/04/08 Conversation 3:
* Deputy Governor A broaches the topic of the Senate seat, and he asks Blagojevich to draft of list of wants for the seat
* Blagojevich notes that nothing can be written down
* Blagojevich states he is interested in an ambassadorship
* Blagojevich speaks with John Harris, his Chief of Staff
* Blagojevich mentions the trick of conducting negotiations with Obama indirectly
* He hypothetically asks Obama what Obama is willing to offer for the seat, and he again reiterates his intention to assume the seat himself
11/05/08 Blago meets with 0 regarding senate appointment process. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2146114/posts (Follow up 11/08, both reports pulled 12/10/08.)
* Blagojevich speaks with Deputy Governor A regarding position he can assume if he were to offer the Senate seat to Obamas chosen candidate
* Secretary of Health and Human Services and ambassadorships are discussed; also discussed is Secretary of Energy and Blagojevichs connection to the coal industry
* Blagojevich speaks with John Harris
* They discuss federal positions that could be traded for the Senate seat, and Blagojevich mentions the private sector and whether Obama could put something big together there
* Harris mentions private foundations, and Blagojevich tells Harris to do homework right away on the possibility
* The Red Cross is mentioned, but Harris states that it would have to be a private foundation under the influence of a President Obama
* Blagojevich speaks with Harris and with Deputy Governor A
* They discuss potential private foundations heavily dependent on federal aid, as this would place it under the influence of Obama
* Blagojevich speaks to Advisor A
* Blagojevich mentions how Obama could remove someone from the Board of a private foundation and appoint Blagojevich
* Blagojevich voices demands for something for the seat, and he reiterates an intention to appoint himself to the seat
??? Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list, the source said.
??? One source confirmed that communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wiretaps.
11/06/08 Rahn named chief of staff.
* Blagojevich speaks with Spokesman
* Blagojevich instructs Spokesman to leak information to the Chicago Sun-Times about Senate Candidate 2, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Blagojevichs interest in Senate Candidate 2, which the Chicago Sun-Times published
* Blagojevich instructed Spokesman to leak such information, as he desired to communicate dissatisfaction to the Obama campaign about Valerie Jarrett and what he thought they were offering for her appointment
??? AFTER being name chief of staff, Rahm has multiple conversations with Blago, giving him a list of names acceptable to 0.
??? Schakowsky also spoke of a conversation she had with Emanuel shortly after he was named chief of staff. She said she called Emanuel him “to get some intelligence” on whether Obama might approve of her selection as senator. “He indicated that the president-elect would be fine with certain people and I was one of them,” Schakowsky said.
11/07/08 Blago sends second message to team 0 via Sneed, Sen. Madigan?
* Blagojevich speaks with Advisor A
* Blagojevich tells Advisor A he will offer the seat to Jarrett if he is appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services
* Blagojevich speaks with Harris and Advisor B, a Washington, DC, consultant
* Blagojevich indicates that he will offer Jarrett the Senate seat if he is appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services, but Harris notes that any deal cannot appear to be a quid pro quo
* Blagojevich notes his financial situation, and Harris states that they are considering it
* Blagojevich, Advisor B and Harris then discuss the possibility of a three way deal involving Blagojevich, Obama and Change to Win, an organization tied to SEIU (Service Employees International Union)
* Harris mentions how such a deal would conceal a quid pro quo
* Advisor B, who is in DC, is pleased with the notion of a three way deal, and he states that Obama should be leveraged with this deal, as it is better than Madigan as Senator and Blagojevich continuing as Governor
11/08/08 Conversation 12:
* Blagojevich and Harris speak
* Discussed is the potential of a financial benefit for Blagojevichs wife, who he believes can work in New York or DC with her Series 7 license
* An interim position at Change to Win for Blagojevichs wife is also discussed
11/10/08 Marathon conference call, more than two hours, between various Washington, D.C., based advisers, Blago, his wife, his general counsel, an unnamed adviser, and John Harris, regarding what (Blago) can get from the President-elect for the Senate seat. Blago believed the candidate was Jarrett.
7:56 PM ET, CNN reported that two Democratic sources close to President-elect Barack Obama tell CNN that top adviser Valerie Jarrett will not be appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
* Blagojevich, his wife, Harris, Governor General Counsel and various Washington, DC, advisors, including Advisor B, speak on a conference call
* Blagojevich mentions his connections in Obamas teams, and he asks how that can be parlayed into financial and political benefits for him and his wife
* Blagojevich mentions how he can assume the Senate seat in order to avoid impeachment in Illinois, and he agrees that Obama will not appoint him to a Cabinet position, as he is too controversial
* Blagojevich asks what he can obtain for the Senate seat, and he mentions that Governor General Counsel believes Blagojevich can be appointed to a private sector Board in exchange for appointing Jarrett to the Senate, but it would have to be a Board not directly connected to Obama
* Blagojevichs wife also mentions her desire to be appointed to a Board, and Blagojevich mentions his wifes experience and Series 7 license
* Blagojevich mentions that he does not want to be Governor anymore
* Blagojevich complains that the advisors on the phone are telling him that he must suck it up for another two years
* Blagojevich complains that he will receive nothing in return for appointing Jarrett, and he threatens to appoint Senate Candidate 4, one of the three Deputy Governors of Illinois, in retaliation
* Blagojevich mentions how his wife is more qualified to sit on corporate boards than a specifically named individual, who is most probably Michelle Obama
* Harris and Blagojevich remind advisors of the problem of Blagojevichs financial security, and Blagojevich indicates that without something in return he will not appoint Jarrett
* Harris broaches the three way deal with Obama, Blagojevich and the SEIU involving Change to Win; such a deal will occur in two years
* A Blagojevich advisor admonishes Blagojevich to be leery of promises for events to occur to two years from now
* Blagojevich then discusses other manners whereby he can earn money
* Blagojevich and Advisor A discuss the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich asks if Obama could appoint his wife to a Board
* If Obama cannot or will not appoint Blagojevichs wife to a corporate Board, then Blagojevich will appoint Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the Senate seat
* Blagojevich and Advisor A discuss the open Senate seat again
* Blagojevich asks Advisor A to leak to the Chicago Sun-Times that he is seriously considering Jesse Jackson, Jr., for the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich considers this to be another threat to the Obama campaign, who still desires Jarrett
* It is clear that Blagojevich has not intention of selection Jackson; he simply hopes to apply pressure to the Obama campaign
11/11/08 Conversation: 16
* Blagojevich and John Harris discuss the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich suggests the creations of a 501(c)(4) he could run that would be funded by Warren Buffett or other wealthy Obama allies
* Blagojevich also mentions that he could appoint Senate Candidate 4, Illinois Deputy Governor Louanner Peters, who will vacate it if Blagojevich is impeached and in need of a political office
* Blagojevich knows Obama will not offer him what he wants in exchange for appointing Jarrett
* Blagojevich and Advisor A discuss the open Senate seat
* Advisor A mentions how he is attempting to leak the story about Jesse Jackson, Jr., to the Chicago Sun-Times, and Blagojevich asks about the viability of the creation of a 501(c)(4) to be bankrolled by wealthy Obama allies
* Blagojevich mentions how he could run such an organization, and he mentions how Senate Candidate 6, an Illinois millionaire who may be Blair Hull, can bankroll the organization, but Advisor A explains how it would be difficult for Blagojevich to appoint Senate Candidate 6 to the open seat
* Blagojevich explains how Senate Candidate 6 is better than receiving nothing for selecting Valerie Jarrett, and he asks Advisor A to locate someone who could broach the possibility of bankrolling a 501(c)(4) with Senate Candidate 6
11/12/08 Durbin announces his intent to speak about his senate candidates with Blago.
* Blagojevich speaks with John Harris
* Blagojevich and Harris learn through CNN that Jarrett has withdrawn her name from consideration for the US Senate seat
* Harris interprets it as a tactic of the Obama team
* Blagojevich broaches the topic of a 501(c)(4) again, and he mentions how Obama and allies can fund it while he is still Governor and Jarrett is Senator; Blagojevich also mentions that Senate Candidate 6 can help bankroll the issues advocacy group to be led by Blagojevich
* They agree this is easier for Obama than for Obama to appoint Blagojevich to a position
* Blagojevich discusses the open Senate seat with Advisor B
* Blagojevich discusses the option of a 501(c)(4) with Advisor B, who says the Change for Win option is better, for from Obamas perspective, there would be fewer fingerprints of Obamas involvement
* Advisor B mentions that Change for Win is a better option, as there will not be stories in four years of how Obama bought Blagojevich off
* Blagojevich mentions how a 501(c)(4) will exist in two years, while Change to Win may not
* Blagojevich speaks with a different DC advisor about the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich mentions the 501(c)(4), but the advisor in DC reiterates the reason why Change to Win is more desirable: it is one step removed from the President-elect
* Blagojevich speaks with an SEIU official, SEIU President Andy Stern, who was in DC, about the open Senate seat
* SEIU official met with Blagojevich the previous week, and Blagojevich understood Stern was an emissary of Jarrett
* Blagojevich tells Stern he heard Obama was considering candidates other than Jarrett for the open seat, and Stern states he would discuss this with Jarrett
* Blagojevich mentions the 501(c)(4) advocacy group option to Stern, and he mentions how that advocacy group could assist Jarrett
* Stern says he will put that flag up and see where it goes
* Blagojevich and Advisor B discuss the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich tells Advisor B that he asked Stern to broach the topic of a 501(c)(4) with Jarrett, Co-Chair of the Obama Transition Team
* Blagojevich and Harris discuss the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich mentions how he will decide how he will select a candidate for the Senate seat, and he mentions his legal situation as the most important variable
* Harris reminds him that his legal situation is the hardest one to satisfy, and Blagojevich claims it can be satisfied if he appoints himself to the seat
11/13/08 Durbin asks Blago for a meeting, voices Duckworth as a favorite.
Jarrett accepts cabinet post.
After several pages of detailing those machinations, the criminal complaint takes an abrupt turn, describing NO WIRETAPS for a period of THREE WEEKS. The complaint says Blagojevich had numerous conversations about the Senate seat during that period, but it doesnt detail any.
* Blagojevich and Harris discuss the open Senate seat
* Blagojevich tells Harris he wants to speak directly to President-elect Advisor about the 501(c)(4) option and how it could be bankrolled
* Blagojevich says he wants President-elect Advisor to receive word of the 501(c)(4) option on that day, for when President-elect Advisor asks about the open fifth Congressional district Seat, it will be in the advisors mind
* Blagojevich may have the power to appoint a Representative to Illinoiss fifth Congressional district seat, which was previously occupied by Rahm Emanuel
* Blagojevich and Advisor A discuss open Senate seat
* Blagojevich mentions how he hopes the 501(c)(4) is in the head of the President-elect Advisor, but he hopes it is implanted in that persons mind in a manner in which it is not connected to the open Senate seat or the open House seat
* When asked by Advisor A if it is, Blagojevich responds, its unsaid. Its unsaid.
* Blagojevich and Advisor A discuss open Senate seat
* Blagojevich asks Advisor A to contact Individual A and ask Individual A to contact President-elect Advisor about the 501(c)(4)
* Advisor A asks if it should be mentioned outside of the open Senate and House seats, and Blagojevich says yes
* Advisor A asks if Blagojevich wants Individual A to contact President-elect Advisor as Blagojevich thinks there is still life in Valerie Jarrett
* Blagojevich thinks there is still life in Jarrett, but he also thinks there are other options
11/14/08 0 announces senate seat resignation, and distances himself from Blago, (courtesy of the WaPo). Resignation meant to ratchet up the pressure on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to name a successor more quickly than planned.
11/23/08 Axelrod said, I know hes 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. (youtube video pulled 12/10/08)
11/26/08 Durbin weighs asking Bush to commute ex-Gov. Ryan
11/27/08 Blagojevich: Bush should let Ryan out of Prison
12/05/08 Chicago Tribune ran a story on its front page reporting that law enforcement had secretly recorded Blagojevichs conversations as part of a criminal investigation. Blagojevich immediately instructed Fundraiser A to undo the plan to meet personally with the associate of Candidate Five, (JJJ).
12/06/08 Blago fundraiser Saturday in Elmhurst, co-sponsored by Nayak and attended by JJJ’s brother, Jonathan, as well as Blago.
The “Nayak” co-sponsor mentioned is Naghu Rayak, an Oak Brook doctor and president of Rogers Park Surgery. Nayak is a generous political contributor and has contributed to Blagojevich and numerous other statewide office holders, namely Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn as indicated on the ISBE website
12/08/08 Blago and JJJ met to discuss the Senate seat on Monday, one day before federal prosecutors arrested Blago.
12/09/08 Blago arrested, is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as soliciting bribes.
“President-elect Obama was scheduled to travel this morning to the Chicago FBI briefing before his mid-day meeting with former Vice President Al Gore,” wrote the Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Weisman in the morning's first pool report. “But it has been announced that he will instead be going straight to his transition office.” (Why the FBI briefing, and why canceled?)
12/10/08 0 and Durbin call for Blagos resignation.
12/12/08 Rahm won't go to the Chicago Presidential transition offices in order to avoid reporters. “I'm getting regular death threats. You've put my home address on national television. I'm pissed at the networks. You've intruded too much.”
Madigan asked the state's highest court Friday to strip scandal-plagued Blago of his powers. The filing says he is “unable to serve as governor due to disability and should not rightfully continue to hold that office.”
Did Obama cancel or did the FBI cancel the briefing?
Someone the other day posted that the FBI building was the closest " secure" location where Obama could receive briefings at. I read that to mean due to the sensitivity of the information, (e.g. intelligence briefings), the meetings had to conducted in a secure location.
My hunch would be that, knowing of the arrest of Blago, meetings with his staff or lawyer took precedent over the security briefings. I don’t think the FBI briefings that day pertained to the Blago arrest.
Kinda smells like a ‘fix’ was in or in the works doesn’t it?
Thanks randita. I did searches that day but came up witt nothing...probably got bored after the first hundred pages of returns using the keywords Obama and FBI came back with the Blag arrest.
It does figure, though...which is why I emphasized "The" meeting.
OZer0 getting briefings by the same feds doing the Blag investigation...Smells of more Chicago dead fish to me.
I'm with you on that...he knew what was coming down. Question is, when did he know it? The Hill Blog reports he canceled that morning, so did he only find out the timing of the bust just as the rest of us did?
a “POOL SPRAY?”
It smells like this stuff goes on all the time. They are all greedy crooks. I hope Blago has some get of jail cards to play. He will probaly wind up doing a couple years in a country club rubbing elbows with other white collar crooks in exchange for keeping his mouth shut.
>>>>Does anyone have any insight into why Zer0 would have a meeting with the FBI in the Chicago field office?<<<<<<
He’s been going to the federal building in downtown Chicago for a while now for his national security briefings, which reportedly are held in the FBI office, presumably because it’s a secure facility.
Zer0 has reportedly been getting his national security briefings at the FBI office in the Chicago federal building, but I vaguely recall an article from last month explaining that the actual briefings were from the normal national security briefers and not from the FBI. Which all seems eminently plausible.
Nice job, well done.
It looks more and more like Zero is in this up to his eyeballs.
By the way, as chief law enforcement officer in the land, and the biggest cheese in the Justice Department (ie., Patrick Fitzgerald’s boss) Bush should have full and complete access to every tape recording and every single piece of evidence in this investigation. Everything.
I wonder whats on that 5th CD?
Obama's people are pining for the days of FDR... this one ought to bring them back...
That caught my eye also. What the hell is a “pool spray?” Sounds like something that occurs at one of Hugh Hefner’s parties. Or maybe it’s when the president-elect pees on the press pool reporters.
Reporters are a strange bunch!!!
He needed more time for he and his advisors to get their stories straight?
That is what Blag refers to as the 5th CD.
It's Christmas, so forgive me if I still have a wish that Bush is just holding back until the right tiem...but it is Christmas.
And that still pisses me off - man can't get a clearance but he gets briefed on national security issues.
Once he is full time dressed in orange, his lips won’t be the only part of his anatomy that will be loose.
So you think ‘o’ had no knowledge of the sting until it happened?...that he found out when the rest of us did?
It's the dems. way...remember half of Clinton's team NEVER got their FBI security clearance (source - Gary Aldrich).
I’m sure the O received advance warning of the upcoming arrest from the FBI.
JJ, Jr. got a heads up the night before, supposedly. Perhaps the same happened with Obama. I doubt Obama got much more than a 6-12 hour heads up. He and his team have been very flat footed in responding to the arrest. Very impromptu and clumsy.
WOW, what a list — and all that’s without the 3 weeks’ of intervening discussions that Fitz didn’t need for the indictment. Blago can start picking out his prison jumpsuit color.... oh, wait, he gets ORANGE!!!! :^)
Zero obviously had knowledge of the investigation - - that's why he was going to meet with the FBI. I think it was the timing of the arrest that surprised him. In fact, Zero may have tipped off some of the targets that he was going to the meet in the first place and touched base with people prior to that scheduled meet for the purpose of comparing stories to, you know, make sure everybody told the same one. And maybe Fitz was aware of this and sprung the arrest in order to prevent some note-swapping...
I smell trouble for Zero here - - unless Fitz is working to protect him.
Hey if Blago goes down, he’s taking them all down with him!
Technically the POTUS is the ultimate source of all classification authorities within the federal government. There is no higher authority to “clear” the President.
GWB could and probably did give Zer0 Super A-#1 Megagalactic clearance to know everything and anything in the classification domain.
Unfortunately it’s the proper thing to do.
“please excuse me if I prove myself an idiot from time to time”.
NO more, and most often less than most here.
I’m hoping to beat hope that this ensnares obamma lamma in some way.
>>>>Bush should have full and complete access to every tape recording and every single piece of evidence in this investigation. Everything.<<<<<
For reasons that we’ve all come to expect over the years, GWB is probably not focused on “this investigation” just as he’s never been focused on any investigation with the exception of Plame.
So could Bush know something? Seems out of character for Mr. Nice Guy Bush to refuse the Obamas and their daughters early residency at the temporary preinauguration housing
A “pool spray” is the decontamination of reporters in advance of a hosing of bullshit.
I understand every time someone whined to Clinton about his staff completed the documents, he just kept blowing them off.
Reminds me of a dog cocking its leg to mark its territory.