U.S. Attorney Outlines Charges Against Blagojevich
The Office of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago just posted a 12-page news release outlining the charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) who, along with his chief of staff John Harris, was arrested this morning on federal corruption charges:
* (Headline) ILLINOIS GOV. ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH AND HIS CHIEF OF STAFF JOHN HARRIS ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CORRUPTION CHARGES
* (Summary) Blagojevich and aide allegedly conspired to sell U.S. Senate appointment, engaged in “pay-to-play” schemes and threatened to withhold state assistance to Tribune Company for Wrigley Field to induce purge of newspaper editorial writers.
* (Lead paragraph) CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Rod. R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leverage his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions — both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.
UPDATE 12/09/08 12:16 p.m. CDT: Patrick Fitzgerald Says Governor Blagojevich Engaged in ‘Political Corruption Crime Spree’