In a press conference explaining the arrest and the corruption charges filed against Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald — who successfully prosecuted Scooter Libby — declared the current case as a “new low.” Fitzgerald described the charges as a “political corruption crime spree.”
Noting that Blagojevich has been under investigation for years for pay-to-play corruption charges, Fitzgerald expressed his amazement that the activity would continue. “You might have thought in that environment, pay-to-play would have slowed down. The opposite happened. It sped up,” he said.
The “most cynical behavior” by Blagojevich pertained to his attempt to sell the open Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, Fitzgerald said:
The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave. The governor’s own words describing the Senate seat: “It’s a [bleeping] valuable thing. You just don’t give it away for nothing.” Another quote: “I’ve got this thing and it’s [bleeping] golden. I’m just not giving it up for [bleeping] nothing. I’m not going to do it. I can always use it — I can parachute me there.”
Fitzgerald emphasized: “I should make clear that the complaint makes no allegations about the President-elect whatsoever, his conduct.” Watch a portion of the press conference:
In his private conversations, Blagojevich indignantly referred to Barack Obama as a “motherf*cker” and repeatedly cussed him out because Obama refused to engage in the pay-to-play scheme. Blagojevich complained about giving this “motherf*cker [Obama] his senator. F*ck him. For nothing? F*ck him.”