While no fan of Fitzgerald, the fact that the MSM would pull this stunt surprising me not:
Conventional wisdom holds that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ordered the FBI to arrest Rod Blagojevich before sunrise Tuesday in order to stop a crime from being committed. That would have been the sale of the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Members of Fitzgerald’s team are livid the scheme didn’t advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgerald’s office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.
The precise timing of Tuesday’s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich’s alleged “crime spree.” It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI’s affidavit in the case.
At Fitzgerald’s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office.
Gerould Kern, the Tribune’s editor, said in a statement last week that these requests are granted in what he called isolated instances. “In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens,” he said.
But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribune’s own cooperation deal with the prosecutor.
The article goes on to detail how close they were to getting that one person who was willing to dole out the cash, that person being Senate Candidate 5, who is rumored to be Jesse Jackson Jr.
About a month earlier, Blagojevich was caught on tape describing an approach by an alleged associate of Jackson. Blagojevich’s now-infamous quote about that meeting had been tantalizing. “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator.”
On Dec. 4, with the feds listening in, Blagojevich was allegedly putting this deal back into play.
The conversation resumed later that same day, as Blagojevich allegedly told his brother, a man identified in the affidavit as “Fundraiser A,” that he was “elevating” Mr. Jackson on the list of candidates, because the governor might be able to get something “tangible up front” for the pick.
He told his brother to meet with someone (unidentified by the feds) whom the pair believed to be close to Jackson. He urged his brother to tell this alleged supporter of Jackson that “some of this stuffs gotta start happening now… right now…and we gotta see it. You understand?” He was talking about campaign cash, the feds allege.
Then he allegedly offered his brother one final proviso: “I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone.”
The next morning, on Friday, Dec. 5, it all came crashing down for the FBI agents underneath the headphones.
The Tribune’s front page screamed: “Feds taped Blagojevich; TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE: Adviser cooperated with corruption probe, sources say.”
Guess what happened after that?
Blagojevich read the same headline. “Undo” that “thing,” the governor allegedly told his brother, according to the FBI. And just like that, the meeting was off, only one day after it had been put back into play.
So rather then seeing an investigation on to the end the MSM held their own self interest as being more important then ensuring some real scum get sent away for a long time.
Can’t say that I’m surprised.