Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chicago Sun Times: Rahm told by Obama to cajole Blago to seat Jarrett

It's time to impeach if this is true.

Witness: Rahm Emanuel asked me to call Blagojevich to say President Elect Barack Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

When Valerie Jarrett was still in contention for the Senate seat in early November 2008, Rahm Emanuel called longtime Rod Blagojevich friend John Wyma.

Emanuel wanted Wyma to deliver a message to Blagojevich.

Wyma, a state lobbyist, just testified that Emanuel told him to call Blagojevich and express something on behalf of the President-Elect.

"He said the President-Elect would value and appreciate Valerie Jarrett in the Senate seat," Wyma said.

Wyma said he then tried to call Blagojevich at home but "missed him."
He then called Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris.

Wyma said he passed on Emanuel's message. 
"I told him it would make sense to have Valerie as a pick," Wyma said.

Harris told him he would give the message "unabridged and unedited" to the then-governor.

The significance here is Wyma had been cooperating with the government for several weeks. He made a call on Emanuel's behalf at the time that the then-Governor was hoping to get something in return for the Senate seat. The week before that phone call, Blagojevich had expressed his interest in a cabinet position in exchange for the Senate seat.

While the prosecution played a recording of Robert Blagojevich's call to Wyma asking for funds from Children's Memorial Hospital, Wyma admitted to attorney Michael Ettinger that he didn't know whether Robert Blagojevich also knew that the hospital was at the same time seeking state monies.

Now Blagojevich's lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky is questioning Wyma: "You don't mind if I call you John, do you?

Wyma: "Do you mind if I call you Shelly?" He says to much laughter in the courtroom.

Sorosky: "Not at all."


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