Breaking: IL Governor Blagojevich Arrested by FBI [Update 2]
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Rod BlagojevichFBI agents have arrested Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, on charges stemming from what a US attorney calls a “staggering,” wide-ranging criminal conspiracy.

Amongst other charges, the Feds have accused Blagojevich of trying to sell or trade the US Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Blagojevich was taken into custody at his home at 6:15 this morning. He is being charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Harris was arrested simultaneously at his home.


The controversial governor has been in the news in the last few days for his attempts to force Bank of America to deal with laid off workers occupying a shuttered factory in Chicago.


Some more tidbits:

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A search warrant has been executed on Blagojevich’s offices.

The full complaint against Blagojevich contains the following charges:

BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for his wife’s placement on paid corporate boards…
BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit organization…
BLAGOJEVICH told Deputy Governor A that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open Senate seat, then ROD BLAGOJEVICH will take the Senate seat himself: “if . . . they’re not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it.”
BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Deputy Governor A regarding positions that ROD BLAGOJEVICH might be able to obtain in exchange for the soon-to-be vacated Senate seat. Among the potential positions discussed were Secretary of Health and Human Services and various ambassadorships. Deputy Governor A noted that the cabinet position of Secretary of the Energy is “the one that makes the most money.”


According to HuffPo:

The FBI has searched two Joliet pharmacies owned by a fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice said agents took records from Basinger’s Pharmacy stores but declined to say what they were investigating. Rice said no arrests were made.

The pharmacies are owned by Harish Bhatt. Bhatt was investigated by Illinois State Police after Chicago pharmacy owner Jatin Patel claimed Bhatt encouraged him in 2005 to make a campaign contribution so his pharmacy would be treated fairly in a Medicaid fraud dispute. The investigation went nowhere.

We will post more as the story develops.


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