Live Blogging the Blagojevich Arrest Press Conference
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 9, 2008 5:37PM
AP Photo/Seth Perlman
We're patiently awaiting the press conference on the Governor Blagojevich arrest. As soon as it starts, we'll be following it right here.
11:57 The press conference has concluded and it seems Blago and Harris will appear before the judge at 1:30.
11:56 "This is not an indictment, it's a criminal complaint."
11:55 If the Trib agreed to fire someone, would it be criminal? Fitzy says the person who as asked to be fire wasn't fired.
11:50 "There are people out there who are pretty damn angry...and ready to do something about it."
11:47 Asked if the government pulled a Nixon on Blago - "I'm not going to criticize agents for trying to uphold the law...It doesn't fly. What we did was lawful."
11:44 Won't comment on Patti's involvement other than to point out her appearances in the complaint.
11:42 Reiterates there is no reference or evidence that implicates Obama.
11:40 Again Fitzgerald refuses to voice an opinion on what the legislature should do about Blago.
11:38 Fitzgerald confirms they asked the Trib to not run a story because it would have interfered with their investigations and that the Trib complied.
11:37 "This goes beyond just the governor. It goes to people who were involved in these schemes." We wonder what this does for the Trib folks who were involved.
11:36 Grant described the arrest. He says he called the Governor and warned him first at 6 a.m. and did it as quietly as possible. He was cooperative and hand-cuffed. Governor's response was "Is this a joke?"
11:32 Fitzgerald refuses to speculate on the Trib's thoughts on the extortion attempts. He reiterates all their info came from the wiretaps.
11:30 Fitzgerald refuses to comment on whether or not Blago should step down or the state legislature should impeach him. "It is an appalling statement about what's been happening in Illinois government."
11:28 "He is presumed innocent, but I was not going to wait until March, April, May...it would be irresponsible."
11:25 Fitzy fields questions. Being cautious about making it clear, only Blago and Harris are in trouble, but others may be in trouble down the line. "We never give clean bills of health."
11:24 "If [Illinois] isn't the most corrupt state in the US, it's certainly one hell of a competitor...even the most cynical agents...are shocked."
11:22 Fitzgerald turns it over to Rob Grant, the investigative officer in charge.
11:20 "This is a moment of truth for Illinois...what we really need is cooperation from people outside of law enforcement."
11:18 "He wanted to do it to help his life...to remake his image..."
11:16 "No allegations against the current President-Elect." - Fitzgerald on Obama
11:15 "[It] would make Lincoln roll over in his grave." - Fitzgerald on Blago's selling the Senate Seat
11:14 Addressing the extortion attempts against the Chicago Tribune. "Fire all those fucking people." It's amusing to hear Fitzgerald "bleep" himself and confirm that the bleeps weren't what Blago said.
11:12 Fitzy confirms they bugged Blago's home and office. Blago also wanted a $50k contribution from Children's Memorial and tried to hold back funding when he didn't get the contribution.
11:11 Fitzy says Blago sped up their pay-to-play offers before the Jan.1 implementation of new ethics law. Fitzy refers to the recent $1.8 billion Tollway deal.
11:10 Fitzgerald introduces the federal inspectors that assisted in the investigation and says, "It's a very sad day for Illinois Government. Governor has taken politics to a truly new low."