New details have emerged since FBI agents arrested Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today on federal corruption charges alleging that he tried to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.
- The FBI affidavit filed in District Court quotes Blagojevich as explaining that the vacant seat "is a f**king valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing." On Nov. 11 Blagojevich said that he didn't care that Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett, a longtime confidante, to succeed him, because "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F**k them."
- When the FBI called Blagojevich this morning to tell him they were coming to arrest him, he asked: "Is this a joke?"
- US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who conducted this investigation along with the Valerie Plame investigation, said at a press conference today: "Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low. This conduct would make [Abraham] Lincoln roll over in his grave."
- The Chicago Tribune delayed running its independent investigation of Blagojevich for misconduct, after prosecutors asked them to wait, or risk jeopardizing the criminal investigation. The editor explained that the paper's "interest in reporting the news flows from its larger obligation of citizenship in a democracy."
- As for the Obama seat, Blagojevich still has the authority to fill it, but the US Senate could always reject his choice. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has asked the Illinois state legislature to call for a special election to fill Obama's seat, saying that no appointment by Blagojevich would be credible.