Unveiling the federal complaint at a press conference, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said, "This is a sad day for Illinois government. Mr. Blagojevich has taken us to a truly new low."
He characterized the governor's conduct as a "political corruption crime spree" that had to be stopped because of "imminent" actions that might have been taken by the governor, such as selecting a successor to president-elect Obama's senate seat and causing the firing of editors at the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
"The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," Mr. Fitzgerald said.
According to a 76-page two-count indictment unsealed by prosecutors in Chicago on Tuesday, FBI agents allegedly heard the governor on wiretaps attempting to trade or sell the Senate seat being vacated by Mr. Obama when he becomes president next month.
Three years ago, during the height of Lewis Libby's federal trial for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, New York Times
government hack reporter Judith Miller called special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald a "loose cannon". Two weeks later Karl Rove showed up. He jumped on the discrediting bandwagon and called Fitzgerald an "unguided missile".
No cries of foul play will be forthcoming from Republicans and their media operatives on behalf of poor Mr. Blagojevich. Hopefully, we won't hear cries of prosecutorial foul play from Democrats, either.
Obama should keep Fitzgerald after he's sworn in. Fitzgerald is an equal opportunity hard-nosed asshole; the kind of district attorney you need to have around in case your political enemies, or yourself, have second thoughts about following the law.
Wall Street Journal: FBI: Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Tried to Sell Obama's Senate Seat