Obama aide Emanuel in hot water over Illinois senator selection scam

December 13th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Chicago, Dec.13 (ANI): Rahm Emanuel, US President-elect Barack Obama’’s designated Chief of Staff, is reportedly facing claims that he had repeated conversations with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who has been accused of trying to sell Obama’’s US Senate seat.

Sources close to the investigation were quoted by The Telegraph as saying that Emanuelhad conversations about the issue with both Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris, who is also facing corruption charges.

It is claimed that at one point he even gave them a list of acceptable candidates to take over the vacant seat.

Suspicion has grown that Emanuel is the unnamed “Washington based adviser” mentioned in the 76-page prosecutors” affidavit that Blagojevich ordered his chief of staff to contact.

Obama, who takes office on January 20, has vehemently denied any of his staff were involved in deal-making and has promised to reveal any contact between members of his team and the governor’’s office.

The sources close to the investigation did not say whether Emanuel had discussed any deals, but even being on receiving end of corrupt demands could be damaging to him and Obama.

Sources told Fox News that it was likely the discussions were recorded.

The President-Elect pledged a new brand of politics during his campaign and could be embroiled in the scandal if it turns out any illegal approaches were not swiftly reported to the police.

Any suggestion of wrongdoing could fuel drama and headlines for months as the new administration tries to settle in amid an economic crisis and two wars.

Confronted by a reporter in Chicago, Emanuel testily said: “You are wasting your time. I am not going to say a word about it to you.” (ANI)

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