Does he feel lucky?
“Do you feel lucky today? Well do you, punk?” Harry Callahan
The FBI arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich this morning. Since being Illinois Governor comes with the rebuttable presumption of corruption, this should come as no surprise.
But today’s events now create the question; will there be a January surprise?
Consider the situation. Blagojevich has apparently been caught, dead to rights, on wiretaps. The Governor can take the case to trial, but Federal Sentencing Guidelines punish someone who takes a case to trial and loses. The only way to get relief in the Federal system is, if you are guilty, roll over on someone. Who could the Feds possibly be interested in?
The United States Attorney went to great pains to say that the investigation did not implicate Obama in any wrongdoing. Blagojevich knows Obama and knows some of his dealings. Does he have any dirt on Obama? If he does, now is the time to use it.
During the campaign, the name Tony Rezko came up frequently. Rezko was a benefactor for both Obama and Blagojevich. Back in June, Rezko was convicted of federal charges, related to kickbacks and other corruption. His sentencing has been continued, “in the interests of justice”, which is Federal speak for Rezko is cooperating.
Time is running out for these two and that is why they are being asked the “do you feel lucky” question.
In a little over 40 days, Obama will be sworn in. As Clinton did in 92, I have no doubt Obama will move immediately to fire the United States Attorney in Chicago, name a crony to the position and kill any investigation that might have his name on it.
40 days is the deadline. Blagojevich and Rezko could be holding out for pardons, but given Obama’s apparent willingness to throw anyone in his way under the bus, and the political fallout from such a move would be unbearable, Blagojevich and Rezko probably have a better chance of winning the lottery. So do they cooperate or not? Rezko apparently already is. Blagojevich is certainly going to be given that chance. The Federal prosecutors certainly want bigger fish to fry and what fish is bigger than the President-Elect?
If the United States Attorney indicts Obama before he is sworn in, it will be almost impossible to simply make the indictment go away. Our country would be faced with the impeachment and removal of a President, followed by his trial by jury.
Obama may or may not have done anything. Blagojevich and Rezko may or may not have anything on him. But if they do and if they are willing to talk about it, the next few weeks could be interesting.