It’s Christmas Eve, but stuff happens. So instead of asking you to remember me on your Christmas list, I’m writing about who’s been naughty or nice on President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff.
In a five-page memo to the President-elect, Greg Craig, incoming White House Counsel, writes the transition staff had “no inappropriate contact” with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
I participated in a conference call with Craig who discussed his findings.
Craig reported that Rahm Emanuel was the only aide who had contact with Blagojevich. Emanuel had “one or two” telephone conversations with the Governor, and “about four” conversations with his chief of staff, John Harris. Craig said the exact number is irrelevant since “those contacts were totally acceptable and appropriate.”
There was little new news. Craig did not have access to transcripts of the wiretapped calls; nor were there any written communications.
We did learn that Obama, Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett were interviewed by FBI agents and federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office last week.
Also, Jarrett had a conversation with a top union official in Chicago about Blago being appointed Secretary of Heath and Human Services. Craig said Jarrett “never thought of it as a quid pro quo”:
Blagojevich’s interest in HHS was ridiculous on its face at a time when it was widely reported that he was under investigation.
Obama’s BFF, Dr. Eric Whitaker, was approached by one of Blago’s deputies:
The President-Elect told Dr. Whitaker that no one was authorized to speak for him on the matter. The President-Elect said that he had no interest in dictating the result of the selection process, and he would not do so, either directly or indirectly through staff or others. Dr. Whitaker relayed that information to Deputy Governor Peters.
Craig’s bottom line: “All contacts were innocent, appropriate and predictable conversations.”
BTW, Emanuel was not on the call. He reportedly left for a “long planned family vacation in Africa.”