FBI Should Release Obama’s Blagojevich Interviews
Now that Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial is done and the disgraced Illinois governor has been sentenced, the FBI’s extensive interview with President Barack Obama related to the case should be made public.
After all, Obama and his top aides—including Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett—were prominently mentioned at both of Blagojevich’s federal trials in Chicago because he was charged with trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Obama got elected president. For all intents and purposes it was one of the biggest political scandals of modern times.
The nation’s commander-in-chief and his top aides were subpoenaed (only Emanuel testified) as were records associated with the mystery FBI interview, which took place after Blagojevich got criminally indicted. In the end, Blagojevich got convicted of 18 corruption charges and, this week, was sentenced to 14 years in prison, making him the fourth Illinois governor in recent history to serve time.
Throughout the scandal, the White House has insisted the president had nothing to do with Blagojevich. However, in 2009 Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Illinois Governor’s Office that prove Obama and Blagojevich had repeated contact after Obama became president. They include a letter from Obama to Blagojevich less than a week before the crooked governor’s arrest.
Judicial Watch has a long-standing public-records request to access the now famous FBI interviews with Obama, Emanuel and Jarrett relating to Blagojevich’s corruption case. The “most transparent” administration in history has refused to make the information available and has also denied requests to explain the president’s involvement in the Blagojevich scandal or the nature of the FBI interrogations.
What we do know is that court testimony at both trials (the jury hung the first time and Blagojevich was retried) indicates that Obama was embroiled in the scandal. Judicial Watch covered both trials in the same Chicago federal courtroom where witness after witness indicated top-level White House involvement in the Senate-appointment scheme.