Obamas team had no contact with Blagojevich over vacant Senate seat

December 24th, 2008 - 1:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Dec 24 (ANI): An internal review from Barack Obamas transition team has proved that there was no inappropriate discussions with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich about his alleged attempts to sell off Obamas vacant Senate seat.

An internal review from Obamas transition team released on Tuesday shows that the President-elects chief of staff had a number of conversations with Blagojevich and his top aide, but that there was no indication of inappropriate discussions regarding the Governors alleged attempts to sell US Senate seat, FOX news reported.

The report also revealed that Obama, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and aide Valerie Jarrett were interviewed over a period of three days last week by federal investigators building a corruption case against Blagojevich. Prosecutors have said Obama is not implicated in the case.

The much-anticipated internal report, prepared by incoming White House attorney Greg Craig at Obamas request, said that Emanuel had one or two discussions over the phone with Blagojevich, as well as about four with the governors chief of staff John Harris.

Harris was also arrested on corruption charges and has since resigned his post. But Craig stressed that nobody on Obamas staff suspected that the governor might be trying to trade favors over Obamas Senate seat as prosecutors allege.

He said all contact between Obamas staff and the office of Blagojevich was strictly on the level.

Only one member of the transition staff had any such contact. My inquiry determined that there was nothing at all inappropriate about those conversations, Craig told reporters.

Craig found that the president-elect had no contact with Blagojevich or any of his staff about the Senate seat he vacated to take over the presidency.

The report said Emanuel recommended Jarrett for the Senate seat in an early discussion with Blagojevich before he learned that Obama did not want to communicate any preference.

Afterward, Emanuel gave Harris a list of other candidates whom Obama felt were qualified. But at no time was any quid pro quo discussed, according to the report.

The candidates initially floated by Emanuel were: Jesse Jackson Jr.; Jan Schakowsky; state comptroller Dan Hynes; and Illinois veterans affairs director Tammy Duckworth.

Jarrett was later named as a White House adviser to Obama, FOX news reported. (ANI)

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