Today in United States v. Rod Blagojevich: following up on his 2008 claims that then-Senator Barack Obama was one of a few people who could testify to his innocence, his defense team issued a motion today to subpoena the President to testify in court. Most of the juiciest bits involving Obama’s role in choosing a new Senator are blacked out, or so we thought. It turns out a lucky PDF glitch gave us VIP access. Who wouldn’t want to see the blacked out part? Let’s investigate!
Most of the non-blacked out portions of the motion are predictably tame general knowledge: the seat in dispute belonged to the President; the FBI did speak with the President about this case at some point in time. A “labor union official” close to the President (who may be SEIU President Andy Stern) is said to contradict public statements on the case by Obama directly. The credibility of money man Tony Rezko being crucial to the case, the defense would like the President to testify about it. The defense also spends significant amount of time bringing up previous cases of sitting presidents being subpoenaed to testify in relevant cases. What the defense didn’t want you to see is the allegation that an Obama “supporter” offered Blagojevich “fundraising” in exchange for the seat. In other words: Blagojevich didn’t try to sell the seat; an Obama “supporter” tried to buy it.
Here is a link to the actual PDF, via BreakingNews, for your perusal, and a helpful who’s who of Senate candidates. What follows are all the major blocks of blacked-out text in the motion, with some commentary. Some of the allegations make a very close link between the president and the governor; others seem a little to benign to have been given the “confidential” treatment. One wonders if all classified portions of government documents are this easy to breach, or whether whoever put the document together was hoping a reporter somewhere would crack the code. :
Yet, despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had any part of any deals, labor union president [possibly Andy Stern, though not confirmed] told the FBI and the United States Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on November 3, 2008 who received a phone message from Obama that evening. After labor union official listened to the message labor union official told labor union president “I’m the one”. Labor union president took that to mean that labor union official was to be the one to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate Candidate B was his pick. (Labor union president 302, February 2, 2009, p. 7).
Not a particularly damning conversation, but possible evidence that the President was very intimately involved in negotiations over that seat– which directly contradicts public statements by the President. Imagine what certain people on the right will say about Obama negotiating so closely with both Blagojevich and Chicago union officials.
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