Governor 'Tried to Sell Obama's Senate Seat' FBI Arrests Top Illinois Politician after Tapping Phone INTERNATIONAL

The Birmingham Post (England), December 11, 2008 | Go to article overview

Governor 'Tried to Sell Obama's Senate Seat' FBI Arrests Top Illinois Politician after Tapping Phone INTERNATIONAL


The governor of Illinois was arrested in the middle of the night after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps audaciously scheming to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for cash or a job in the administration.

FBI agents arrested Rod Blagojevich, aged 51, before daybreak at his Chicago home and took him away while his family was asleep, saying the wiretaps convinced them Blagojevich's "political corruption crime spree" had to be stopped.

"The Senate seat, as recently as days ago, seemed to be on the verge of being auctioned off," US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said.

Prosecutors did not accuse Mr Obama of any wrongdoing or even knowing about the matter. The president-elect said: "I had no contact with the governor or his office, I was not aware of what was happening."

In calling for Mr Blagojevich to quit, Mr Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president-elect agreed with other prominent politicians that "under the current circumstances, it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois". …

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