In testimony on June 24th, Harris said he believes Obama knew about Blago wanting something in exchange for appointing Obama's choice, Valerie Jarrett to the newly vacated Senate seat. Via POLITICO:
John Harris, Blagojevich’s former top aide, testified during the governor’s corruption hearings this week that three days after Obama’s election as president, Blagojevich felt assured he had a deal from the president that would place aide Valerie Jarrett in the Senate. He offered no proof of his claim.If there weren't other instances - like the confirmed offer to Sestak and the "dangled" offers to Romanoff - perhaps less credence could be given to Harris' testimony. The fact that Rahm Emanuel provides a common thread to all three, Obama should have to answer questions at some point.
“The president understands that the governor would be willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets what he's asked for,” Harris said in testimony.
They appear more interested in continuing the stonewalling...
The White House has declined comment. The same claim has been made by defense lawyers in past court filings, without supporting evidence.This is exactly why Blago's motion to subpoena Obama needs to be granted. Either Harris is lying under oath or he's telling the truth and Obama's testimony is required.
So far, repeated attempts by Blago's attorneys to get transcripts or even summaries of the interviews between Obama and the FBI have fallen on deaf ears.
The president spoke with FBI agents about the Blagojevich scandal soon after the former governor was arrested in 2008. Blagojevich’s legal team has tried to compel the FBI to release a transcript of the interview it conducted with the president, but the bureau has declined all requests.While the FBI head reports to the president, he is supposed to be able to act independently. That's a laugher. The Department of Justice isn't supposed to protect the president either but that's actually become SOP. Is there a legitimate reason why the FBI won't turn over the contents of that interview?
In light of the recent events, I can't think of any.
More on Blago trial HERE.