I'm going to have to rewrite this, because it is possible that Rahm Emmanuel is not Adviser A or B. But he certainly is the fellow referred to as "President-elect Advisor". That does not mean that Rahm is exonerated.
It turns out that Blagojevich may have discussed a bribe with Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's pick for Chief of Staff. You have to read the indictment
past paragraph 100 or so.
Keep two things in mind:
1. Rahm currently represents the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois. It appears that Blago can appoint a replacement until a special election is held.
2. Blago became fixated on a wacky scheme in which he would take charge of a well-funded 501(c)4 lobbying organization. This was to be backed by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, acting at Obama's request. The org was to be Blago's nest egg after leaving office.
Blago thought he could make a quid-pro-quo arrangement with Obama: He (Blago) would appoint Obama's preferred candidate, Valerie Jarrett, to the Senate -- and in return, Blago would get that comfy sinecure, a place where he could live well and regain his political muscles.
Does that sound like a bribe to you? Sounds like a bribe to me
ROD BLAGOJEVICH noted that the President-elect can ask Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and others for money for the organization... Harris [Ney to Blago's Napoleon -- JC] said that funding the 501(c)(4) would be a lot easier for the President-elect than appointing ROD BLAGOJEVICH to a position.
Paragraph 107 states that Blago met with a close Obama adviser -- almost certainly Emmanuel
(as we shall see) -- about the 501(c)4 idea.
The advisor asked ROD BLAGOJEVICH if the 501(c)(4) is a real effort or just a vehicle to help ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that it is a real effort but also a place for ROD BLAGOJEVICH to go when he is no longer Governor. The advisor said he likes the Change to Win idea better, and notes that it is more likely to happen because it is one step removed from the President-elect.
In other words, this adviser liked the idea of a bribe, but he wanted a slightly different
bribe, one that would not be traceable to Obama. ("Change to Win" is a union organization close to the Obama campaign, comprised of unions that quit the AFL-CIO.)
...according to Advisor B , from the President-elect's perspective, there would be fewer "fingerprints" on the President-elect's involvement with Change to Win because Change to Win already has an existing stream of revenue and, therefore, "you won't have stories in four years that they bought you off."
Blago preferred the 501(c)(4) idea because he wasn't sure whether Change to Win would stay in business.
How do I know that the person called "President-elect advisor" was Rahm? Here's how.
On November 13, Blago spoke to John Harris (who plays Robin to Blago's Batman). Blago told Harris to call the above-referenced Obama adviser and ask for "10, 15 million" for the 501(c)(4) project. You know, enough to get started.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he wanted "[President-elect Advisor] to get the word today," and that when "he asks me for the fifth CD thing I want it to be in his head."
"Fifth CD" refers to the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois. Only one Obama adviser would have an over-riding interest in that district: Rahm Emmanuel.
He currently represents that district, and thus has an interest in his successor.
Let this sink in.
Blago was convinced that he could Rahm Emmanuel for a bribe -- a sinecure funded to the tune of $15 million -- before picking the senate candidate Obama wanted. He let it be known that he would also pick the guy Rahm wanted for the congressional seat. Did Rahm act outraged? No. Did Rahm toss Blago out on his ear? No. Instead, there was adiscussion of a counter-bribe on which Obama would have "fewer fingerprints."
Obama has told an obvious
whopper. Today, he said that he never spoke with Blago about the Senate seat
. "I had no contact with the governor's office."
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."