Report on Contacts With Ill. Governor Due by Tuesday
By Michael D. Shear
President-elect Barack Obama will make public by Tuesday a report detailing his staff's contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who has been accused of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that Obama resigned, Democratic officials said.
Release of the report, which was finished last week, was held up at the request of the U.S. attorney investigating Blagojevich. But two Democratic sources said the Obama team expects to make it public on Monday or Tuesday.
Last week, Obama told reporters that the report found no "inappropriate" contact between his staff and Blagojevich or his staff. But Obama and his aides have declined to offer details, including whether chief of staff-designate Rahm Emanuel discussed the Senate seat with the Illinois governor.
George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC News' "This Week," said Sunday on the show that Emanuel spoke once with Blagojevich and four times with the governor's chief of staff, John Harris. Citing Democratic sources, Stephanopoulos said the report will clear Emanuel of saying or doing anything wrong.
Federal officials used wiretaps and listening devices to capture Blagojevich and Harris discussing ways to profit from the governor's ability to decide who fills the Senate vacancy. Those conversations revealed both men to be frustrated by what they perceived to be the unwillingness of Obama's advisers to play ball.
Some of the conversations between Blagojevich or Harris and Emanuel may be captured on tape, too. But U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has not made those conversations public.
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