Did President Obama Lie About Influencing Blagojevich?
Let’s review. Here is the text from President-elect Obama’s statement to the press on January 4th, 2008 (the statement comes just befroe the 2 minute mark);
“I have never spoken to the Governor [Blagojevich] on this subject. I am confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat.”
But today we found out that Barack Obama called top SEIU leader Thomas Balanoff to push Valerie Jarrett for his senate seat. The Sun-Times blog reported:
Top union leader Thomas Balanoff said he was at dinner the night before the November Presidential election when he got a call that was blocked.
So he didn’t take it.
Later he listened to his messages: “I walked outside, listened to it and it was from President Obama,” Balanoff said.
“Tom, this is Barack, give me a call,” the soon-to-be President-Elect said on the message.
After Balanoff sent word through an Obama aide to call him back, Obama returned his call later that night.
“Tom, i want to talk to you with regard to the Senate seat,” Obama told him. Balanoff said Obama said he had two criteria: someone who was good for the citizens of Illinois and could be elected in 2010.
Obama said he wasn’t publicly coming out in support of anyone but he believed Valerie Jarrett would fit the bill.
“I would much prefer she (remain in the White House) but she does want to be Senator and she does meet those two criteria,” Balanoff said Obama told him. “I said: ‘thank you, I’m going to reach out to Gov. Blagojevich.”
Which suggests that a “representative” of President Obama, Thomas Balanoff, did speak with Blagojevich and that he did so at the soon to be President’s request.
Stay tuned. The many twists and turns of the Blagojevich corruption trial may just bring down a President.