Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges, is revealed to be going nothing more than seeking to exchange political favors for political favors in the 78 page federal indictment displayed below.
While Blagojevich’s private deliberations were caught on tape by FBI wiretaps and bugs, none of the evidence revealed in the complaint proves money was paid to the governor or his campaign fund prior to his taking an official action. Nothing in the publicly disclosed “evidence” amounts to any more than the bluster of a cocky politician engaged in Nixonian ramblings with his personal staff. Perhaps that is why U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald pleaded with parties to come forward who have actual evidence of criminal bribery. Before such evidence is presented, can we say at this point what the FBI heard on its recordings– as transcribed in the indictment– is any different than what one would hear were they do bug every state governor’s office.
“The decision [about Senator Obama’s replacement], like every other one, needs to be based upon….. Our legal situation, our personal situation, my political situation…. Legal. Personal. Political.”
“[The decision will be made] in good faith… but it is not coming for free… It’s gotta be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.”
How much different are the deliberations in New York Governor David Patterson’s office as he deliberates how to appease the powerful Kennedy, Clinton, and Cuomo political families as he picks a successor to Senator Hilary Clinton?
Where does tit-for-tat politics end and bribery begin? Was the Justice Department within it’s rights to do what the voters and legislators of the state of Illinois could have done themselves? Is impeachment not the more lawful way to remove a sitting governor for what may amount to no more than political crimes?