Posted by Curt on 6 January, 2009 at 10:18 am. 6 comments already!


This may cause a stir eh?

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich through the Freedom of Information Act related to Blagojevich’s contacts with President-elect Obama and his transition team. The documents include a December 3, 2008, letter from Barack Obama following his December 2, 2008, meeting with Blagojevich as well as a November 17, 2008, letter signed by Presidential Transition Team co-chairs Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta providing Blagojevich with a list of transition team contacts.

The following are excerpts from the letter signed by President-elect Obama on December 3, 2008, less than one week before authorities arrested Blagojevich for attempting to “sell” Obama’s now-vacant Senate seat, among other corruption charges:

  • “Thank you for meeting with me on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and I were pleased with the open discussion.”
  • “As we discussed, I would appreciate any advice you can provide to me and my team on the biggest roadblocks to states in moving forward in ‘getting ready to go’ projects started quickly.”
  • “In addition, I welcome any advice you can provide me and my team on revitalizing and reinvigorating the state-federal partnership. I want to make it a priority of my Administration to work closely with you.”
  • “I look forward to working with you and hitting the ground running on January 20th.”

“These documents tend to undermine Obama’s claims that he had no contact with Blagojevich and suggest his transition is hiding documents about such contacts,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Why did President-elect Obama not release this letter? What else is he hiding?”

Ed Morrissey argues that the whole context of the letter doesn’t appear to be about the Senate seat:

It acknowledges a discussion between Blagojevich, Obama, and Joe Biden, but the full context of the letter suggests that the conversation involved economic policy and not Obama’s Senate seat.  In fact, the letter appears to be nothing more than a pro-forma, polite acknowledgment of a meeting, and has no real inculpatory value.  Allahpundit e-mails me to say he’s 99.9% sure that the meeting referenced was at the governors conference in Philadelphia — and that Sarah Palin probably got the same letter as Blagojevich.

Barack Obama did say that he had “no contact” with Blagojevich, and the letter obviously negates that in a literal sense.  However, the context for “no contact” was in regards to specific discussions about replacing Obama in the Senate, not “no contact” ever, at least between Obama himself and Blagojevich.

But Judicial Watch does have a point, even if Ed is correct.  Why hide these letters?  Why not include them in their report of the matter?

Stinks to high heaven.

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