Two days later, the London Telegraph reported that Emanuel is expected to step down as Chief of Staff in the coming months:
Washington insiders say he will quit within six to eight months in frustration at their unwillingness to "bang heads together" to get policy pushed through.Other reasons given were that Emanuel is mulling a Chicago mayoral run and wants to spend more time with his family - the latter sounds like the reasons given by NFL head coaches who are on the chopping block in an attempt to minimize controversy.
Mr Emanuel, 50, enjoys a good working relationship with Mr Obama but they are understood to have reached an understanding that differences over style mean he will serve only half the full four-year term.
Another pay-to-play story that could involve Emanuel is playing out in a Chicago courtroom - the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial. Running concurrent with Issa's aggressive stance relative to what he'll do with subpoena power is the Blagojevich trial, which has been heating up in recent days. The prosecution has introduced some of the audio recordings of phone conversations that took place between Rod, his brother Rob, and Rod's one time Chief of Staff, Lon Monk. One of the things that becomes readily apparent while listening to the tapes is that pay-to-play politics was a way of life in Chicago when Blago was governor.
When Blago was arrested in December of 2008, Emanuel appeared to be quite involved. News reports indicated that Emanuel had conversations with Blago about Obama's vacant senate seat. At one point, Emanuel seemed to hide behind his kids with reporters and dropped out of sight for some time.
Click HERE for some compelling audio recordings between Rod, Rob, and Lon.
Now, NBC Chicago is reporting that Rahm traded favors with Blagojevich and the Associated Press has the emails:
Emanuel agreed to sign a letter to the Chicago Tribune supporting Blagojevich in the face of a scathing editorial by the newspaper that ridiculed the governor for self-promotion. Within hours, Emanuel's own staff asked for a favor of its own: The release of a delayed $2 million grant to a school in his district.The very next paragraph explains what could end up being a PR hit for Emanuel and, by extension, the Obama administration...
The 2006 discussion occured with Blagojevich's top aide, Deputy Gov. Bradley Tusk, and doesn't appear to cross legal lines; Emanuel couldn't speed up the distribution of the funds. But it offers a peek at ties between two high-profile Illinois politicians — one now the president's right-hand man, the other facing years in prison if convicted of political corruption.
Discussion of the exchange could come up at Blagojevich's corruption trial, currently under way in Chicago. Blagojevich, who is accused of plotting to profit by selling an appointment to Obama's former Senate seat, also tried later that year to use the school grant in an extortion attempt against Emanuel, according to federal prosecutors.It's quite possible that Emanuel is sowing the seeds of egress from the White House so that if the Blago trial, coupled with the Sestak and Romanoff scandals, implicates him directly in the commission of crimes, he can say he was planning to leave anyway and any new accusations that arise will have nothing to do with his decision.
Emanuel's common thread with Sestak, Romanoff, and Blago....
On May 28th, courtesy of a White House legal memo, Emanuel was identified as the man inside the Obama White House who sent former President Bill Clinton to meet with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) with an offer to drop out of the Senate primary with incumbent Arlen Specter.
In September of 2009, the Denver Post identified Deputy Chief of Staff and Emanuel right hand man, Jim Messina as the one who approached Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff (D-CO) with three job offers inside U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Messina is still Deputy Chief of Staff, which means Emanuel must have known about his dealings with Romanoff.
As the Blago trial continues to heat up - it's definitely starting to do so - look for more questions to arise about the relationship between Emanuel and Blagojevich. It could be that Emanuel's exit in several months is a trial balloon. If the Blago trial starts to shine a brighter spotlight on Emanuel, look for the latter to step down much sooner.
h/t to Blago Files