Indictment of Illinois Governor on Corruption Charges: Even though Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration has been under investigation since 2003, today's indictment on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama's open Senate seat came as a surprise.
Based in part on a series of wiretapped conversations, federal corruption charges against Blagojevich are laid out in a 76-page affidavit.
In one conversation, the Illinois governor is quoted as allegedly telling one of his advisers on November 3 that Obama's Senate seat "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing," according to the criminal complaint. On the day after Election Day, Blagojevich allegedly told the same adviser, "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it."
There are no allegations that Obama was involved. Indeed, according to the complaint, Blagojevich allegedly complained to his chief of staff, John Harris (who was also indicted today), about Obama and his team, saying, "They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them."
The federal filing, issued today by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, also alleges that Blagojevich pressured executives at the now beleaguered Tribune Co. to fire members of its editorial board for critical pieces. "Our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get 'em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support," Blagojevich is quoted as telling Harris.