- The Washington Times - Monday, December 15, 2008

Barack Obama” href=”/themes/?Theme=Barack+Obama” >President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team said Monday it has completed its review of contacts with Rod Blagojevich” href=”/themes/?Theme=Rod+Blagojevich” >Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and has found itself blameless, but won’t release the findings until next week.

Dan Pfeiffer, the transition communications director, said in a statement that the U.S. attorney’s office asked them not to release the findings so as not to impede the official investigation into Mr. Blagojevich, who was arrested and charged with trying to trade Mr. Obama’s vacant Senate seat for his own personal gain.

“A review of transition staff contacts with Governor Blagojevich and his office has been conducted and completed and is ready for release,” Mr. Pfeiffer said. “That review affirmed the public statements of the president-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff, and that the President-elect’s staff was not involved in inappropriate discussions with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U.S. Senator.”

Mr. Obama said much the same in a press conference Thursday. He has another press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Mr. Pfeiffer said the transition lawyer has kept the U.S. attorney up-to-date on their internal investigation.

Authorities have not accused Mr. Obama or his team of any wrongdoing.

Several news outlets have reported that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s pick to be White House chief of staff, talked with aides to Mr. Blagojevich about the seat. And an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint against Mr. Blagojevich identified a “president-elect advisor” who Mr. Blagojevich seemed to think he was negotiating with.