Obama Report Exonerates Rahm ... Had Only One 'Pro-Forma' Courtesy Call With Blago
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Aides to President-elect Barack Obama will release a report this week exonerating incoming Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel of any wrongdoing in the controversy surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ABC's George Stephanopoulos reports.
According to the report, Emanuel had only one "pro-forma" courtesy call with the embattled governor. Also, Emanuel is on tape telling Blagojevich's chief of staff that Obama would not offer any favors to induce the governor to choose Obama's favored candidate.
More from Stephanopoulos:
Sources also confirm that Emanuel made the case for picking Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett during at least one of the conversations [with Blagojevich's chief of staff John Harris]. In the course of that conversation, Harris asked if in return for picking Jarrett, "all we get is appreciation, right?"
"Right," Emanuel responded.
Bottom line: These sources say that Obama's report, which is expected to be released this week, will confirm what Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and President-elect Obama have said -- and what Gov. Blagojevich clearly believed: that Obama officials were not open to any kind of deal for the Obama Senate seat.
Nico Pitney is national editor at the Huffington Post.