Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blagojevich Trial Revelation – Witness Used to Deliver Message from Obama to Blagojevich regarding “Value” of a Senate Seat Appointment.

Obama with Blagojevich - image Pumaeyes blog

The President has consistently denied knowledge of any communication regarding the "pay to play politics" vis a vis the Illinois Senate Seat left vacant by his advancement to the White House. He has, in fact, insisted that no communication from himself, or any of his staff to former Governor Rod Blagojevich took place. Additionally, after being installed as President, Obama went so far as to have an internal investigation into the matter - which concluded that, indeed, Barak Obama and his administration had no knowledge of any dealings with the Governor.

As the prosecution wrapped up its case against Blagojevich for trying to exchange the Illinois Senate seat once held by Obama, for either an appointment and or gain of some sort, the last witness to testify refuted the Presidents claim, and the claim of his initial investigation, of the case.

The President was not only aware of a message to Blagojevich, he initiated a message regarding the seat by using Rham Emmanuel to deliver it to Blagojevich going through one John Wyma, friend to Blagojevich and Illinois State lobbyist.
From the Chicago Sun Times:

Wyma, a state lobbyist, just testified that Emanuel told him to call Blagojevich and express something on behalf of the President-Elect.
"He said the President-Elect would value and appreciate Valerie Jarrett in the Senate seat," Wyma said.

“Value and Appreciate” – the meaning of which implies worth and an exchange or payment in the offing.

This contrasts sharply with the 2008 report by Obama’s future council, after an investigation into claims involving Blagojevich - that the White House found itself having no involvement or knowledge of the Illinois Senate Seat for Sale. (CNN-Time)

The Sun Times, which appears to be one of the only news outlets left with a backbone, is also the only major paper, not injecting editorial (or smoothing things over for the President) into reporting on the case – preferring instead to use the transcripts from the court alone.

The transcript speaks for itself, and the implications are clear:

Once the President took office, he had his attorney produce a report stating that he had no knowledge of any dealings with Governor Blagojevich and his former Senate Seat. This is simply not true according to the testimony given yesterday that states the President not only knew about the situation, but had communicated through Administration official Rham, that Blagojevich should be told Obama would “value and appreciate” the appointment of one Valerie Jarret to his seat.

In other words, Obama lied outright.

Blagojevich, on the other hand, has been telling the truth (such as it is)– he was, as stated offered something of value from then President-elect Obama’s appreciation of his placing Jarret in the Senate. Blagojevich’s greed, and personality aside, one has to feel that he had been led to believe that Obama would continue Chicago business as usual from D.C. expecting a value in return for that appreciation.

Therefore, Justice James Zagel who barred the President from testifying in the case, also did Obama a favor - by not testifying – Obama avoided perjury.

The word impeachment comes to mind - that said one cannot begin to compare the situation with William Jefferson Clinton’s who's over developed sex drive led to perjury – the man was attempting to cover his tracks from both his family and the American public, over sex. However, a blatant attempt by a President-elect and then President to influence local politics directly by exchanging favors, (be it political appointment or otherwise) which, is itself illegal, and then using legal counsel in an attempt to cover his tracks, should that individual take the stand and lie - that might result in a vacant seat in the White House.

This opens up a whole can of proverbial worms, all of which lead to down the road to disgrace and impeachment, had the Defense been able to call the President to the Stand. However, should an investigation be opened, (in this case as well as indications that the same took place in PA’s 12th and in Colorado) and the President be asked to testify before a grand jury at any time going forward (up until 2012), all bets are off.

The comments on this article from the Sun Times site are worth reading - the messages left give an insight into how the general Chicagoan (and one imagines those leaving comments are from places far from Chicago)feels about the President and this particular trial: - comments begin at the bottom of the page.

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