Discussing Obama's release of Blagojevich report next week, Politico and Hannity ignored Fitzgerald's reported request for delay

››› ››› GREG LEWIS

The Politico reported that President-elect Barack Obama "announced he would delay the release of an internal review about contacts between his aides and Blagojevich's office until next week," but did not report that Obama said that while the review was complete, "The U.S. attorney's office asked us to hold off releasing those [findings] for a week." Despite Obama's explanation, Sean Hannity asked: "Why can't we get it out this week?"

In a December 16 article, the Politico reported that President-elect Barack Obama "announced he would delay the release of an internal review about contacts between his aides and [Illinois Gov. Rod] Blagojevich's [D] office until next week," but did not report that Obama said at his December 15 press conference that while the review was complete, "The U.S. attorney's office asked us to hold off releasing those [findings] for a week." Indeed, on December 15, U.S. attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald reportedly issued this statement:

"After the President-elect announced an internal transition team investigation, the United States Attorney's Office requested a brief delay of the release of a report of that investigation to conduct certain interviews."

Despite Obama's explanation, on the December 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Sean Hannity asked, "Why can't we get it out this week?" Hannity added: "You know, considering this has been going on for a complete week here. You know, how long is it going to take? ... [W]hy don't we release it today? Tomorrow? Wednesday? I would think it's doable in this day and age -- not if you want to hide something, though."

From the December 16 Politico article:

Blagojevich faces a short, universally painful list of options as the state legislature and the state Supreme Court weighs measures to oust him, and the Justice Department continues its corruption probe.

He could stay in office and battle it out. He could step aside temporarily. Or he could resign - but only after trying to strike a deal for leniency with prosecutors, according to interviews Monday with eight Illinois legal experts.

Almost no matter what he decides, the case shows little sign of a quick resolution.

That's no help to President-elect Barack Obama, who would prefer nothing more than to get his home-state governor out of office, and out of the headlines.

Ensuring further distractions for the presidential transition, Obama announced he would delay the release of an internal review about contacts between his aides and Blagojevich's office until next week.

A criminal trial could bring to light - in all their tape-recorded glory - whatever conversations took place between Obama aides and Blagojevich over filling Obama's Senate seat.

Blagojevich talked tough Monday about staying in office, repeating that he'll fight the charges all the way to the courthouse. He's retained Ed Genson, a respected criminal defense attorney who is known in Chicago for taking cases to trial.

"Technically, he has very few options," said Dennis Rendleman, an attorney and assistant professor of legal studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

From the December 15 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: Now, Obama says that he's going to be releasing all of the details of his staff's contacts with Blagojevich, quote, "sometime next week." Now, you got to admit this is pretty good stuff. Now, remember when the Reverend Wright story broke? Remember, the Chicago Trib, the Chicago Sun-Times, all of a sudden they got the call that they had been wanting answers to questions involving Tony Rezko and this corrupt land deal for the longest time. But as soon as the Jeremiah Wright stuff broke, they got a call from the Obama camp -- "By the way, today's a good day. Why don't you guys come down; we'll give you all of the details you need on Tony Rezko, not on Jeremiah Wright."

Now, why did they do it that way? 'Cause it got buried. Because the Obama campaign knew that the Rezko deal would not be a big story and it got buried. And they were successful.

So Obama says he's going to release all the details about his staff contacts with Blagojevich, quote, "sometimes next week." All right, so let's think. Next week -- when's the big day? When's the big release coming? Is it going to come on Wednesday or Thursday? Now, let's see. Let me look at my calendar. Oh, that's right, next week is Christmas week. Oh, that's right, Hannity's off next week. Most of talk radio's off next week. Oh, it's Christmas week. Let me see.

Christmas Eve would probably be a good time -- a lot of people paying attention on Christmas Eve. Then, of course, we could always release it early Christmas morning, when everybody's tuned into the news on Christmas morning. I mean, if you had damaging information to release, when do you think you'd want to release it? Christmas Eve? The day before Christmas Eve? The day after Christmas? Do you think most people are paying attention to the news? No, they're not.

So -- oh, there you go, Hannity. You're just -- you're asking for the -- everything to be released. Well, it's Monday of this week. Why can't we get it out this week? You know, considering this has been going on for a complete week here. You know, how long is it going to take? How about every member of the Obama staff give every email, every contact that they can remember, and every phone record that they can get, and why don't we release it today? Tomorrow? Wednesday? I would think it's doable in this day and age -- not if you want to hide something, though.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Network/Outlet
ABC Radio Networks, The Politico
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
The Sean Hannity Show
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.