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Obama Report on Blagojevich Contacts Set for Release Tues.

By Michael D. Shear
President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday will release a internal report detailing his staff's contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who stands accused of trying to sell Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Democratic sources said the report will show that incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel contacted members of Blagojevich's staff about the Senate appointment, leading the Illinois governor to believe that Emanuel was pushing Obama friend Valerie Jarrett for the appointment.

The report is unlikely to produce any surprises when it is formally released by the transition office Tuesday morning. Obama remains on vacation in Hawaii this week, and aides said he is unlikely to offer any comment from the islands on the report.

Obama has already said that the report -- which has been completed for a week but was withheld at the request of the U.S. attorney investigating the governor -- concludes there were no "inappropriate" contacts between his staff and the governor's people.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has said there was no evidence that Obama had done anything wrong in the case, but the federal complaint Fitzgerald filed several weeks ago did not provide details about conversations between Blagojevich's staff and Obama's advisers.

A source close to the Obama transition said the review to be released Tuesday was written by advisers who did not have access to the taped recordings made by Fitzgerald during the investigation.

Obama had promised more than a week ago to reveal in detail the conversations that his staff had with the Illinois governor. But he later held off at Fitzgerald's request.

"It's been ready for release for a week," transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said. "We've held off at the request of the U.S. Attorney's office and that continues to be the case, though we expect to be able to release the report shortly."

In the federal complaint against Blagojevich, the governor and his former chief of staff, John Harris, are reported to have had hours of conversations about the potential to profit from the power to appoint Obama's replacement.

Blagojevich is quoted as having been frustrated by the response from unidentified Obama staff, saying that they were not "willing to give me anything except appreciation. (Expletive) them."

But the complaint does not provide any detail about what prompted that assessment from Blagojevich. That quickly led to questions for Obama's transition office about who had discussed the appointment with the Illinois governor and when.

Obama's report is an attempt by the president-elect to put those questions to rest. But they may not be fully answered until Fitzgerald releases transcripts of all of the conversations that his office recorded.

Posted at 6:53 PM ET on Dec 22, 2008  | Category:  Barack Obama
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Obama met with Blagojevitch on November 5 to discuss the Senate replacement. This was reported in the news and on the internet. KHQA reported this.

Maybe Obama just forgot, ya think?
------------------------------------

Ill. governor meeting with Obama today
By Carol Sowers
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

CHICAGO, ILL. — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.
That’s one of Obama’s first priorities today.
He’s meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

Posted by: Sigmonde | December 23, 2008 7:17 PM

There you go. Proof, absolute proof of everyone's innocence. Everyone is clean as a whistle. How could anyone question an "internal" investigation by your own attorney? Would you believe an investigation by Cheney of Bush? Sure you would, huh?

Posted by: Sigmonde | December 23, 2008 6:27 PM

I heard about this on the Radio also. They act like this is an official government Report on the Relationship between, Obama, His Staff, and Blagojevich. At least the Washington Post the Headline "Obama Report", because that is all it is.

Obama - Remember he previously stated, that neither himself or his staff contacted Blagojevich about his Senate Seat. Now that we know of evidence of taped conversations, I wonder what the "Obama Report" will say. Forget about the "Obama Report", I want to see the FBI Report, and listen to the complete set of Tapes. Also, where is the Congressional Investigation of this issue?

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | December 23, 2008 3:10 PM

"...I think it should be move forward ..."

Yes, Obamabots, "move on, nothing here" over and over again.

You know something is not right when Obama supporters are so deathly afraid of someone stopping and taking a look at his friends and actions!! Chicago corruption, here we go!!

Posted by: WP11231 | December 23, 2008 3:07 PM

Here's what I know. If I feel uncomfortable talking to someone I am obligated to contact, I'll call their home or office when they're not there and leave a message. No stress. Don't have to answer any questions. I control the message.

Obama's releasing a report is essentially the same thing. No different than Blagojevich's two minute speech proclaiming his innocence. Or Sarah Palin's refusal to conduct interviews or answer questions. Or 8 years of George W. Bush's speeches and pronouncements with hardly any press conferences.

I'm disappointed with Obama's handling of this issue. I hope that this doesn't become a bad habit.

Posted by: GeorgePeternel | December 23, 2008 3:01 PM

So, we have a spinster on our hands. How did we know that long before the kool-aid line was set up. Barack Hussein makes a statement and will not answer questions till after everyone forgets what they were going to ask. What ever happened to "No one on my staff spoke to the Gov". Spin, spin spin. Get used to it kiddies. He never told us anything on the campaign trail except that Bush caused everything that was wrong with this country. Right then you had to see that there was no substance to this person. His cabinate is made up with the people that got us into this mess.. I guess Slick Willy is his idol. Speaking of a spinster. I think I'll hide in Hawaii till this mess blows over. It might take four years.

Posted by: SouthernCross2 | December 23, 2008 1:06 PM

Obama Report. Or Obama Spin. I guess we will see when it comes out.

I'm waiting for the FBI Report, and copies of all of the audio tapes. That is far more important news than an "Report" by once friends of Blagojevich.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | December 23, 2008 12:55 PM

Posted by: JakeD | December 23, 2008 12:53 PM

Martial:

I don't believe that Chief of Staff is subject to Senate Confirmation (I will have to double-check though).

Posted by: JakeD | December 23, 2008 12:50 PM

Few know Emanuel personnally; none know his heart but Almighty God. Evidence of guilt, such as does exist, should be revealed before confirmation hearings. A laggard investigation would be inimical to the country's interest.

Posted by: Martial | December 23, 2008 12:37 PM

Obama's investigation report contains no informaiton that people will be interesting it. I think it should be move forward and let FBI & other law enforcr agency to take the job.

Posted by: jho3 | December 23, 2008 11:58 AM

Doesn't need any report from Obama, this is FBI and CIA duty to find out, who is the first senate seat buyer or first customer for Illinois Governor.

Posted by: BellaLiberty | December 23, 2008 11:28 AM

I can hardly wait for the atomic powered manure spreader to do its job!

Posted by: vgailitis | December 23, 2008 11:15 AM

WaPo Headline: Obama exonerates himself and staff. Hurray!

Nothing to see here! Stop asking questions and move along!

Posted by: pgr88 | December 23, 2008 11:14 AM

The first thing I find extremely funny (in a "how can you possibly be such an audacious hypocrite and still sleep at night" kinda way) is that the right-wingnuts who are casting stones at Obama over Blago are the same people who basically canonized Sarah Palin, a woman with MUCH more direct ties to an admitted terrorist organization, the AIP.

If the right really wants to find evidence of sin, they should look in their own backyards first.

The second thing I find funny is that the right-wingnuts assume that Obama plays dirty pool. The notion that the guy is truly the upstanding, honest, ethical person he has proven and claimed to be is anathema to these folks. THEY aren't ethical and honest, so they assume no one else can be either. The figure it's business as usual, but the big shocker they're in for is that it is not....Obama will be and already is different, and will represent a big change in Washington.

Posted by: JMGinPDX | December 23, 2008 11:05 AM

It likely is not completely by chance that Obama is releasing the report at a time when everyone including him is occupied with the holidays. Axelrod already leaked its contents and Obama's position last week in any case. Nobody on Obama's team is even suspected of anything illegal. The Obama team's assesment of the content of the report is that Emanuel is still viable and desirable as chief of staff. Nothing in the media or public reaction to the report is likely to change that view. Until all of Fitzgerald's actual evidence surfaces, there is always at least a remote chance that something will turn up that compromise's Emanuel more seriously. In that probably unlikely case, Obama will deal with it if it should actually happen. Otherwise this story is likely to have blown over for good by the time Obama is back from Hawii.

Posted by: dnjake | December 23, 2008 11:00 AM

If you close your eyes reeeealy tight and believe hard enough, Obama will emerge as the islamo-facist, Muslim terrorist that you always knew he was…and corrupt to the core. That way you can ignore facts as the bombard you and your fantasies. Remember, Blago only cursed Obama on tape because Blago was bribed by Obama to simply make it look like Obama was the good guy when he really was the mastermind of it all… Really!

Its no wonder the NY times had to moderate its comment boards. I recall that things got out of hand here at WAPO too, and it had less to do with "In The Tank" reporters - and more to do with insane, gossiping idiots who have nothing better to do with their lives than hit refresh all day and incite misinformation and the most imbecilic of conversations.

If you have something substantial to say, say it. If you just need a place to vent your frustrations and misconceptions- dont expect a well known and selective publication to value your garbage as gold.

Posted by: trident420 | December 23, 2008 9:23 AM

No surprises and no definitive answer to the Obama-Blago contact questions. An internal report from Obama's team is hardly the final word on this. And who knows what could happen if Blago goes on trial...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 22, 2008 10:17 PM

I canceled my NY Times subscription long ago.

Posted by: JakeD | December 22, 2008 9:47 PM

It is being released on December 23 for only one reason. People are busy with the holdiday and are not paying as much attention to news. Obama's "investigation" is worthless. It is internal. Who in her/his right mind would think Obama would find any inapropriate conduct and implicate himself in any wrongdoing? Obama is as phony as a $3.00 bill.

Jake D--As far as I can tell, all the reporters have been in the tank for Obama. You should take a look at the NY Times. If you want to comment on anything involving Obama, you better be in favor of him. No comments are posted unless the moderators allow them. It doesn't matter if the comments are on-topic and not offensive. If the moderators don't like a person's comment, it is blocked. The liberal NY Times certainly knows how not to practice the First Amendment right to free speech.

Posted by: Maryann261 | December 22, 2008 9:17 PM

oh yes!

Posted by: fu_buki | December 22, 2008 8:26 PM

Why does the WaPo care if it's released Tuesday, or even Wednesday (Christmas Eve) or Thursday (Christmas Day)? The WaPo "reporters" have been so far in the tank for Obama that they need oxygen lines.

Posted by: JakeD | December 22, 2008 7:48 PM

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