Skip to main content

Panel investigating Blagojevich won't subpoena Obama advisers

  • Story Highlights
  • Prosecutors said testimony of Obama's advisers could hurt criminal investigation
  • Illinois governor's attorney urged that more than a dozen witnesses be subpoenaed
  • Attorney wanted incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel subpoenaed
  • The attorney, Ed Genson, says he will be at the House committee's meeting Monday
  • Next Article in Politics »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- After being told by prosecutors that their testimony could jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation, the Illinois House panel considering impeachment charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not subpoena advisers to President-elect Barack Obama, the panel's chairwoman said Sunday.

A panel is investigating whether there are grounds to impeach Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

A panel is investigating whether there are grounds to impeach Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The impeachment panel was urged to issue the subpoenas last week in a letter from Blagojevich's attorney, Ed Genson.

Genson urged that more than a dozen witnesses, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, be subpoenaed.

But U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald advised the state impeachment panel that testimony from Obama aides could jeopardize the criminal probe, Illinois Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie told CNN Radio.

Fitzgerald has previously expressed concern about the impeachment panel interfering with his investigation.

Currie said she received the letter from Fitzgerald on Friday, and although her panel will meet on Monday and might hear from Blagojevich's attorney, there will be no subpoenas of Obama advisers, including Emanuel, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois or others Genson had asked to hear from.

Calls to Fitzgerald's office Sunday were not immediately returned.

Currie said her committee has offered Genson the opportunity at its meeting Monday to present information about his defense of the governor. Video Watch a report on Monday's meeting »

Currie said she does not know how long the committee will continue to meet. Several people who have come forward suggesting they might have relevant information, and the panel is working to see exactly what that might be.

She said the panel has not heard from Fitzgerald on the issue of whether access to audio tapes of Blagojevich will be granted to the committee.

Contacted at his office Sunday, Genson said he would be at the committee meeting Monday, but would not discuss his plans. "I don't want to say today what I'll be saying tomorrow," he said.

FBI agents arrested Blagojevich on December 9 after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he had tried to "sell" Obama's former Senate seat. It is the sole authority of the Illinois governor to name a successor who would serve the remaining two years of Obama's term.

Facing federal corruption charges, Blagojevich was released from custody on bond.


According to an internal report compiled by the Obama transition team, Obama was interviewed by Fitzgerald's office on December 19, as was Jarrett. Emanuel was interviewed the next day.

The internal report, drafted by Greg Craig, Obama's choice for White House counsel, concluded that neither Obama nor his aides had any "inappropriate" contact with Blagojevich or Blagojevich's staff.

CNN Radio's Amanda Moyer contributed to this report.

All About Rod BlagojevichRahm Emanuel

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print