"Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.
Blagojevich and Harris were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning.
A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. "Haven't heard anything -- you are first to call," Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.
The stunning, early morning visit by authorities to the governor's North Side home came amid revelations that federal investigators had recorded the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant and had begun to focus on the possibility that the process of choosing a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama could be tainted by pay-to-play politics.
Blagojevich was taken into custody hours after the Tribune reported that the investigation into allegations of pay-to-play politics within his administration had been expanded to include his pending choice of a Senate replacement for Obama. The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state's next senator in weeks.
Stay tuned on this one, because as you might know, Blagojevich is tied to the hip with Tony Rezko who has been swawking it up with the feds.
Question, who's next?
Can we dream?
UPDATE: Holy Cow, this thing is exploding. Drudge Report has blaring headline: GRAND JURY SUBPOENAS ISSUED ON REZKO/OBAMA LAND DEAL.
Doug Ross covered the Obama/Rezko FBI probe earlier this month.
Via this news release from November 4th from the GOP:
"A former Illinois real estate specialist says FBI agents have questioned him about a Chicago property that had been bought by convicted felon Tony Rezko's wife and later sold to the couple's next-door neighbor, Sen. Barack Obama.
The real estate specialist, Kenneth J. Conner, said bank officials replaced an appraisal review he prepared on the property and FBI agents were investigating in late 2007 whether the Rezko-Obama deal was proper.
"Agents and I talked about payoff, bribe, kickback for a long time, though it took them only a short number of minutes of talking with me while looking at the appraisal to acknowledge what they already seemed to know: The Rezko lot was grossly overvalued," Mr. Conner told The Washington Times Monday.
"Rezko paid the asking price on the same day Obama paid $300,000 less than the asking price to the same seller for his adjacent mansion," he said. "This begs the question of payoff, bribe, kickback."
In a wrongful-termination complaint filed last month in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Mr. Conner said his appraisal of the Rezko property, held in Rita Malki Rezko's name, was replaced with a higher one and he was fired when he questioned the document.
Mr. Conner, a former real estate and commercial credit analyst at Mutual Bank Corp. in Chicago, noted in the complaint that the bank received a grand jury subpoena in October 2006 requiring it to produce information concerning Mrs. Rezko's purchase, including the bank's files on the property. ..."
Since good ole Patrick Fitzgerald is the proescutor on this the Blagojevich case, and now it's coming home to roost on Rezko and Obama dealings could this really be Fitzmus after all?
UPDATE: Fitzgerald presser:
Additionally Hot Air has the scoop of who gave Blago up.
UPDATE: Gee trying to sell a Senate seat get's you a $4500 bail?