FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Dick Durbin knew all along that Blagojevich was selling off the seat.
This would only be a bombshell if it had been unexpected.
CHICAGO (AP) – Just two weeks before his arrest on corruption charges, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich floated a plan to nominate to the U.S. Senate the daughter of his biggest political rival in return for concessions on his pet projects, people familiar with the plan told The Associated Press.
Blagojevich told fellow Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin he was thinking of naming Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the seat vacated when Barack Obama won the presidential election, according to two Durbin aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The aides said the concessions Blagojevich wanted in return were progress on capital spending projects and a health care bill that were stalled in the Legislature.
So. The senior (Democratic) Senator from Illniois is told by the (Democratic) Governor of Illinois that the latter is considering trading a vacant Illinois Senate seat to the (Democratic) Attorney General of Illinois – and daughter of the (Democratic) Illinois Speaker of the House – explicitly in exchange for political favors. Several weeks later, the Governor is arrested and impeached on racketeering charges; and it has come out since then that the (Democratic) Senator placed in that seat promised favors and contributions in exchange for it. It has also come out that a (Democratic) Congressman is also under a federal probe for what he or he did not do with regard to the Governor.
In other words, Senator Dick Durbin has had since November some very significant corroborating evidence that Governor Rod Blagojevich really was corruptly auctioning off a Senate seat. This is information that would have been very helpful when it came to the timing of Blagojevich’s impeachment, seating Burris, and/or fixing the entire problem with a special election. And yet, Durbin did or said nothing.
I don’t wonder why. Then again, I know enough about this story to know that the Senator hadn’t realized that his talks with Blagojevich were being recorded.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.