Blagojevich, Chief of Staff Arrested

Blagojevich, Chief of Staff Arrested
U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announces the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich this morning. (WBEZ/Ben Calhoun)
Blagojevich, Chief of Staff Arrested
U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announces the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich this morning. (WBEZ/Ben Calhoun)

Blagojevich, Chief of Staff Arrested

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested at his home early Tuesday morning. Federal prosecutors have laid-out a two-count criminal complaint involving federal corruption charges.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said the allegations against Blagojevich would be enough to make Abraham Lincoln “roll over in his grave.” The sweeping two count complaint alleges that the governor was attempting to use his office for personal gain in several different ways.

The most remarkable allegation is that Blagojevich was abusing his power to appoint a senate replacement for President-elect Barack Obama. In one taped phone conversation prosecutors quote the governor as saying, “I’ve got this thing and it’s [expletive] golden, and I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing.”

The criminal complaint also details a plot to manipulate other situations, including the Tribune Company’s potential sale of the Chicago Cubs. Blagojevich has long been at the center of a growing federal investigation that has implicated people close to him-most notably his friend and fundraiser, Tony Rezko, who is awaiting sentencing on a corruption conviction.

Update: Our Reporters’ Analysis
Blog: State Leaders Sound Off
Related: Blagojevich’s Court Appearance
Related: Lisa Madigan Outlines Options for Gov.’s Removal
Unfiltered: Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn
Unfiltered: Fitzgerald announces charges
Snapshot: Blagojevich’s career in Illinois politics
Related: View the Criminal Complaint