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Dec 11

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:47 AM 

Very, very helpfully for the curiosity-challenged MSM, Politico has posted seven questions the media should ask President-elect Obama at today's scheduled press conference.

1 – “Did you communicate directly or indirectly with Blagojevich about picking your replacement in the U.S. Senate?” ...

2 – “Why didn’t you or someone on your team correct your close adviser David Axelrod when he said you had spoken to Blagojevich about picking your replacement?” ...

3. “When did you learn the investigation involved Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to ‘sell’ your Senate seat, or of the governor’s impending arrest?”

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said it was not until Tuesday that Obama learned the details of the complaint against Blagojevich – the same day it was released to the public – and wouldn’t say exactly when or how Obama was notified.

But at least some people got an early heads-up: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told reporters that he was notified Monday night by federal prosecutors that the investigation was coming to a head, that an arrest was imminent and that Jackson was not a target.

4 – “Did you or anyone close to you contact the FBI or U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to sell your Senate seat to the highest bidder?”

Blagojevich seems to believe that Obama’s team was aware of – and had rejected – his offers, telling Harris in a wiretapped Nov. 11 conversation that Obama was “not willing to give (Blagojevich) anything except appreciation” for picking Jarrett.

If Blagojevich contacted anyone on Obama’s team even hinting at a possible pay-for-play arrangement, it seems they would have been obligated to report that to law enforcement.

One report out of Chicago suggested the possible tipster was Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s pick for chief of staff and a potential conduit for any communications from Blagojevich’s office to Obama. But Emanuel’s office has denied that story.

5 – “Did federal investigators interview you or anyone close to you in the investigation?”

Fitzgerald said Tuesday he was “not going to speak for what the President-elect was aware of,” but it’s difficult to imagine his investigators did not reach out to Obama or his team during the course of the investigations into Blagojevich and businessman Tony Rezko, given how closely the subject matter involved Obama.

Rezko, a former Obama fundraiser who in June was convicted of 16 corruption-related counts, had alleged that prosecutors pushed him for dirt on both Blagojevich and Obama.

6 – “When did you and Blagojevich last speak and about what?”

Obama and Blagojevich both attended the National Governors Association meeting last week in Philadelphia and were photographed shaking hands at the event.

Before the meeting, Blagojevich was quoted saying he had asked Obama’s transition team for federal stimulus aid of $3 billion over the next three years to help fill Illinois’ estimated $2 billion deficit.

If Obama had spoken on the phone with him since Election Day, it’s conceivable that the conversation would have been recorded by the FBI, which in late October won a court order authorizing the wiretapping.

7 – “Do you regret supporting Blagojevich?”

Well, it's a list that at least should break the ice...

 

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