Rod R. Blagojevich was the Democratic governor of the state of Illinois from January 13, 2003 until impeachment on January 29, 2009. He was born on December 10, 1956, in Chicago. Before being elected governor, Blagojevich served as Cook County Assistant State's Attorney and then Representative for Illinois' 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives (elected in 1996).
The Wall Street Journal reported that President-Elect Barack Obama "dispatched Rahm Emanuel days after the vote to contact aides of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to begin talking up Mr. Obama's preferred candidates" to fill the recently vacated U. S. Senate seat, according to associates of Mr. Emanuel. On December 9, 2008, Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges for attempting to sell the seat. The particular charge was that Blagojevich used the mail and telephone to deprive the Illinois people of honest services under 18 USC 1346. Liberal media outlets were disproportionately quick to declare that then-President-elect Obama had no involvement in the scandal, despite clear evidence to the contrary  including photos of the two together while the governor was trying to sell Obama's seat.
This also highlights the question of the Chicago "meat grinder" politics, where Obama spent the formative years of his political career.
The connection between Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel is even more condemning. Emanuel has not commented on any connections with Blagojevich. There are two separate conversations of Emanuel talking with Blagojevich.
On January 9, 2009, Blagojevich was impeached by Illinois House of Delegates. His trial before the Illinois State Senate resulted in a unanimous decision of 59-0 for impeachment. He was not present during the trial as he was protesting the fact that he was not allowed to call witnesses like Emanuel in his defense, nor was he allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against him. The impeachment charges included the criminal complaint against him, as well as several political complaints, such as his attempt to buy flu vaccines from Canada during a flu vaccine shortage. Lieutenant Governor Patrick Quinn was sworn in as governor of Illinois on January 29, 2009.
On June 27, 2011, a jury found Blagojevich guilty on 17 of 20 possible charges relating to corruption, wire fraud, extortion and bribery. He faces a maximum sentence of 300 years in prison.
- Blagojevich Aides Discussed Senate Seat, By Jonathan Weisman, Naftali Bendavid and Cam Simpson, Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2008.
- CNN News