By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 22, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama will make public by tomorrow a report detailing his staff's contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been accused of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that Obama resigned, Democratic officials said yesterday.
Release of the report, which was finished last week, was held up at the request of the U.S. attorney investigating Blagojevich (D). But two Democratic sources said the Obama team expects to make it public today or tomorrow.
Last week, Obama told reporters that the report found no "inappropriate" contact between his staff and Blagojevich or his staff. But Obama and his aides have declined to offer details, including whether White House Chief of Staff-designate Rahm Emanuel discussed the Senate seat with the governor.
ABC News's George Stephanopoulos said on his Sunday talk show, "This Week," that Emanuel spoke once with Blagojevich and four times with the governor's chief of staff, John Harris, who resigned this month. Citing Democratic sources, Stephanopoulos said the report will clear Emanuel of saying or doing anything wrong.
Federal officials said Blagojevich and Harris were secretly recorded discussing ways to profit from the governor's ability to decide who fills the Senate vacancy. Officials said the conversations, recorded using wiretaps and listening devices, revealed both men to be frustrated by what they perceived as the unwillingness of Obama's advisers to play ball.
Some of Emanuel's alleged conversations with Blagojevich and Harris may be captured on tape, too. But U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald has not made the conversations public.