Shady Illinois ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, who once claimed his past as a shoeshine boy made him “blacker than Obama” and who recently got axed from “The Celebrity Apprentice” wants to subpoena President Obama in his corruption trial. Blago alleges that Obama tried to use his influence to pick his own successor as State Senator. Getting Obama to show up could happen, but experts say it probably won’t. Pop the hood.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to subpoena President Obama to testify in his corruption trial, an outcome experts say is highly unlikely, but not without precedent.
A computer glitch has made public redacted documents, in which the former governor alleges that Obama was actively engaged in the process to pick his Senate successor.
Blagojevich, indicted last year on 16 felony counts, does not accuse the president of criminal wrongdoing, but says only Obama can clarify conflicting stories — from two government witnesses — surrounding the processes to appoint a successor.
The White House said it would not comment on an ongoing investigation.
Experts said it was unlikely the president would be called to testify and even less likely that he would do so publicly in open court.
“It’s unusual, but far from unprecedented, for a president to provide testimony, albeit at a physical distance from the actual court proceedings,” said presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, former director of five presidential libraries.
The redacted information, found when the information was cut and pasted off a court Web site, quotes several witnesses saying a labor union official said he had a conversation with Obama on Nov. 3, 2008. In the alleged conversation, Obama is said to have expressed hope that Blagojevich would choose an unnamed “Senate Candidate B,” widely believed to be White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, an old friend of the president.
The document quoted the unnamed labor union official as telling FBI agents and prosecutors that Obama thought Senate Candidate B “would be a good senator for the people of Illinois and would be a candidate who could win re-election.