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Emanuel Involved In Blago Shakedown

From untimely reporting from the Associated Press:

Emanuel, Blagojevich traded calls on school grant

By John O’connor, Associated Press Writer – Mon May 18

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Rahm Emanuel wanted answers. Funds from a $2 million state grant to a school in his congressional district had not arrived, so he went straight to the man in charge: Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

For four successive days in 2006, then-Rep. Emanuel called for Blagojevich, with one message noting it was about the Chicago Academy, according to thousands of pages of call logs reviewed by The Associated Press. Emanuel’s chief of staff followed the next week with four more calls to a top Blagojevich aide.

The school grant is at the heart of an extortion allegation against Blagojevich, who was thrown out as Illinois governor in January and faces multiple federal corruption charges.

Prosecutors claim Blagojevich learned the congressman was inquiring about the school and hatched a scheme to squeeze Emanuel — now President Barack Obama’s chief of staff — to get his Hollywood superagent brother to hold a fundraiser for him in exchange for releasing the school funds.

The school eventually got its money and no fundraiser was held. But Ari Emanuel shows up on the governor’s call logs for the first time 2 1/2 weeks after the state issued the final payment to the school.

Through spokeswomen, both Emanuels declined to explain why they were calling the governor and his chief of staff, John Harris, during that time. Neither Emanuel has been accused of wrongdoing.

The indictment does not name the Emanuels, instead referring to "Congressman A" and his brother. A person familiar with details of the indictment, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is confidential, confirmed that they are Rahm and Ari Emanuel..

The indictment also does not say whether either Rahm or Ari Emanuel was ever pressured to raise money. It alleges only that Blagojevich told a lobbyist and a state official to talk to the congressman about a fundraiser, suggesting his brother host it.

Emanuel previously came under scrutiny in the case after Obama officials acknowledged he talked to Blagojevich about Obama’s vacant seat, which federal officials claim Blagojevich was scheming to auction off. They determined his discussions were "totally appropriate and acceptable."

Harris is charged with one count of wire fraud and is cooperating with the investigation…

Rahm Emanuel and Blagojevich never connected during a four-day flurry of phone calls beginning Aug. 29, 2006, according to the records. One message indicates Emanuel was calling about the Chicago Academy, whose grant was being administered by the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at Blagojevich’s direction.

Finally, Emanuel talked with Harris on Sept. 1.

That conversation was followed the next week by four calls to Harris from Emanuel’s chief of staff, Elizabeth Smith, Harris’ phone logs show.

The fourth, on Sept. 12, included the message, "The academy received the first check of $250,000 on Friday. What is the status of the past due amount of $150,000?"

There is no record of Harris returning any of Smith’s calls, the last of which was Oct. 16. But state records show the academy got payments of $150,000 and $500,000 in September, $178,000 in October and the balance, $916,000, on Dec. 15.

The phone records show Blagojevich and Emanuel spoke on Nov. 30. On Dec. 20, five days after the last payment, the log has a note that the governor "wants to call Rahm."

Just weeks later, Ari Emanuel, a powerful agent who is the basis for Jeremy Piven’s character on the HBO show "Entourage," first shows up in the governor’s call log. The messages don’t show the reason behind them.

On Jan. 3, 2007, Blagojevich’s log reads, "Ari Emanuel called and would like to speak to you. Endeavor Talent Agency."

The two exchanged messages until speaking Jan. 19, when the log indicates, "Governor and Ari Emanuel spoke. Rod had John also call Ari."

That’s an apparent reference to Harris, whose own log shows Ari Emanuel called him on Jan. 30 with the message, "Following up."

Harris returned the call and left a message, and Ari Emanuel disappears from the log until June 19, 2007, when a call to Harris carries the note, "You’ll know what it is in regard to, he is Rahm’s brother." Ari Emanuel called Harris again a year later regarding state legislation, according to Harris’ list.

Ari Emanuel, who has given $270,000 to federal candidates since 2000, shows up just once in state records: a $2,500 donation to Blagojevich in August 2002.

Despite their long relationship, Rahm Emanuel appears on the governor’s phone log only once before Sept. 5, 2005, days after Emanuel publicly announced the Chicago Academy grant. Blagojevich represented the same congressional district as Emanuel before becoming governor.

The pair spoke in February 2006 and again in May, the last time before the late-summer flurry of phone calls.

After that, there are more than a dozen contacts between the congressman and the governor on the logs from November 2006 through as late as Nov. 7, 2008, three days after Obama’s election.

The log shows Blagojevich spoke to Emanuel on Nov. 6, 2008. A day later, there was a message that Emanuel had called and requested a meeting with Blagojevich for the following day…

A report issued just before Christmas indicated Emanuel had "one or two telephone calls" with the governor after the election and four with Harris.

At the time, a White House attorney said Emanuel had discussed a Senate replacement but that the conversations were "totally appropriate and acceptable."

So why are we only hearing about this from our watchdog media now? Now that the Blagojevich story has completely disappeared from the front page and everyone’s radar?

They couldn’t keep it quiet any longer?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Emanuel Involved In Blago Shakedown”

  1. proreason says:

    Kneebreaker in Chief.

    Even if you are somehow persuaded that The Moron is “a nice guy”, nobody could possible by fooled that this low-life Emmanuel is anything other than Vlad the Impaler.

  2. 1sttofight says:

    Emanuel is one of those punks who talk real tough as long as 5-6 of his buddies are backing him up but get him alone and he will curl up in a fetal position and beg for his life.
    What a wuss.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I had thought that when the fight broke out …… he’d be the one you would have to chase down. (alligator mouth …. hummingbird ass)

    • 1sttofight says:

      True, I was talking about after you chased him down.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      ” ……………. he’d be the one I would have to chase down.”

      There ya go 1st ………. fixed!
      (hehehe ….my pleasure)

    • jrmcdonald says:

      In prison they will call him ‘Emma’

  3. heykev says:

    Can’t wait for this trial to get started. Blago will be calling EVERY Illinois politician to testify under oath. Cant wait to hear about Rahm and BHO’s involvement with my former Gov.

    Once there is some blood in the water from these guys (and there will be) the flood gates of corruption will pour wide open. Will be fun to see how this will be Bush’s fault.

  4. Right of the People says:

    Blago won’t go down alone, you can guarantee that! The only question will be whether he gets silenced before he can rat out Obammy. He’d better make a deal and get protection if he wants to live to 50.

    Heykev,

    Of course it will be Bush’s fault.

    • heykev says:

      RotP – Of course it will be Bush’s fault. I am just looking forward to what sort of convoluted logic will be used this time.

      I do believe that Blago will be under enormous pressure to take a Plea Bargian. But he’s just stupid enough to not take it and call both Rahm and BHO to testify.

      If they really want to apply pressure to him, they will have his wife indited. From what I understand, she could have been, but the Feds didn’t want to indite both of them because they felt there would be sympathy for them because their kids would have to go live with relatives and visit their folks in different pokeys.

  5. Enthalpy says:

    Caution! I thought I saw a tiny bubble.

  6. canary says:

    Right of People, Blagojevich did imply he’d do some snitching, endangering his life. Don’t need another suicide dead body able to find it’s way in a park.

    Since Obama’s Notre Dame speech turned out to be the largest plugging for selling his book, for peope to get all his thoughts on the subject. After his Trinity church ministry in aiding former sex-offenders, another Obama aim for ex-felonists “Governement” can solve this “by working with private-sector contractors to hire and train ex-felons on projects that can benefit the community as a whole: insulating homes and offices…laying broadband lines..entire communities..” Remember the internet for every child promise ? Costly, but pay for itself, less incarceration,”that with lawful work available for young men now in the drug trade, crime in many communities would drop;”
    He forgot to mention this during all his simulous green, computer for every child. b.s.

    The good news is Obama claims “Already, Texas, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia are majority minority..” and on and on he goes “America will no longer be a majority white country – with consequences for our economics, our policitcs, and our culture that we cannot fully anticipate.

    So, soon we will added as victims to hate-crimes. EEOC would have to change to serve white people. Present law, if you are both white and of another color, you have the choice of listing yourself caucasion or the minority color on SSN and census.


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