From the December 2008 Idaho Observer:

Illinois governor indicted on corruption charges

Wiretaps reveal Blagojevich willing to sell Obama Senate seat to highest bidder; Emanuel may be implicated, Obama "alibi" not convincing

Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) was arrested Dec. 9, 2008 on corruption charges outlined in a 74-page indictment drafted by Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Among the corrupt activities alleged was Blagojevich’s desire to sell to the highest bidder the Senate seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama (D-IL). Blagojevich, who by law has the responsibility of appointing the replacement for a vacated mid-term Senate seat, considered his opportunity "golden" according to transcripted wiretaps. Blagojevich was also taped indicating his desire to parlay the happy situation into additional perks, bonuses and appointments for himself and family members.

On Dec. 12 The Chicago Sun Times revealed that State Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), who has already accepted an appointment as Obama’s chief of staff, was taped having conversations with Blagojevich about who would be chosen to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

The Times said, "The revelation does not suggest Obama’s new gatekeeper was involved in any talk of dealmaking involving the seat, but it does help fill in the gaps surrounding a question that Obama was unable or unwilling to answer this week: ‘Did anyone on his staff have contact with Blagojevich about his choice for the Senate seat?’"

Obama has stated that he had not discussed the issue with Blagojevich and was certain no one on his staff had, either.

Emanuel, with close ties to both Obama and Blagojevich, has thus far declined to comment.