Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sniffing Out Contacts Between Obama’s Transition Team and Blagojevich

Politico’s Vogel and Martin reported the other day on President-elect Obama’s pledge to conduct an internal investigation of possible contacts between his transition team and Illinois Gov. Blagojevich regarding the governor’s attempt to sell Obama’s senate seat for personal gain.

Vogel and Martin write:

‘“He was elected president on a promise of ‘transparency’ but barely five weeks later, Barack Obama is scrambling to meet his first big test on openness.

“Obama's campaign lawyer Bob Bauer is taking a leading role in conducting what one top aide described as "an internal review" stopping short of a full-blown investigation.

“The goal is simple and urgent: find who talked with disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and when - and precisely what they said.

“But it's also loaded with hazards. They need to make sure they meet Obama's vow to release findings "in a few days." More importantly, they need to make sure they don't miss something that could come back to bite them later.

“In trying to meet the first rule of Washington scandal-management – get the facts out on your own terms, and fast – Obama may have promised something he’ll later regret, one expert warned.

‘“What they’re doing is either setting themselves up for inconsistencies, or creating a cache of evidence that otherwise wouldn’t exist. It never helps when you dig up the dirt in your own yard and you find stuff,’ said Stan Brand, a top Washington defense lawyer.”’

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