Tag Archives: Valerie jarrett

Obama lawyered up for interview with federal authorities

It’s Christmas and everybody’s busy and occupied with other things, but some pretty significant events have taken place in the past week.

For one, on last Thursday, the FBI – that’s right, the FBI – interiewed President-elect Obama, and close associates, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel and each were represented by private counsel.

And then on Tuesday, December 23, a report by White House counsel Greg Craig was released more or less declaring no problem with respect to Obama, Jarrett, Emanuel, and the other two mentioned in the report, David Axelrod and Dr. Eric Whitaker.

But, as I said, on last Thursday, December 18, the President-elect was interiewed by federal authorities.  And it’s, oh, well, as if he coughed.     NBC New York says:

Obama was not under oath, but he was represented in the FBI interview — as well as throughout the internal review — by Bob Bauer, the shrewdly pugnacious Washington super lawyer who represented Obama’s campaign. Each of the four Obama associates referenced in the internal report also retained attorneys, although only Emanuel and Jarrett sat for interviews with U.S. attorneys and FBI agents.

Valerie Jarrett who was interviewed by federal authorities on Friday, December 19, was represented by Vince J. Connelly, a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown and former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel, interviewed on December 20, hired W. Neil Eggleston to represent him.  Eggleston served as an associate White House counsel under President Bill Clinton. A Washington defense attorney at Debevois & Plimpton, Eggleston represented former White House Political Director Sara Taylor during the federal probe into the 2006 dismissals of federal prosecutors.

It is unclear who represented Axelrod and Whitaker.  The report does not say, and transition sources said they did not know.

According to Politico,  they tried to contact Obama’s lawyer, Bauer, the day the internal review was released but he hung up on the reporter and then forwarded all calls to voice mail.

Some are calling for an independant investigation since the report Craig made was only one side of the story.

I mentioned in a previous post, Obama, Jarrett, and Whitaker are together in Hawaii on an extended Christmas vacation, and Rahm Emanuel is in Africa.

Posted:  12.25.08

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Filed under Barack Obama, crime, politics, President Elect Barack Obama, Rod Blagojevich, Uncategorized

Obama/Blago Report Released (Updated)

The Obama/Blago report of the internal review was released about 4:30 p.m., as promised.  It is in the form of a memo to President-elect Obama, from White House Counsel, Greg Craig, dated December 23, 2008.

The report contains accounts of President-elect Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Dr. Eric Whitaker.  Mr. Craig states that these accounts were communicated to the Office of the United States Attorney in interviews that were conducted last week and that the release of the report was delayed at the request of Mr. Fitzgerald.

The interviews with the federal prosecutors took place over a period of three days:  Thursday, December 18, 2008 (President-elect Obama); December 19. 2008 (Valerie Jarrett); and December 20, 2008 (Rahm Emanuel).

Dr. Eric Whitaker, a family friend, was asked for information by a member of the Governor’s circle and that account has been included in the report, even though Dr. Whitaker is not a member of the transition staff.

The complete report here.

Eric Whitaker is a new name to me.  Some interesting facts are reported by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times on October 28, 2008, in an article entitled “Obama’s pal Eric Whitaker, his Tony Rezko tie.”

Their friendship began when they were graduate students at Harvard University. Now, Whitaker is one of Obama’s closest advisers.

Whitaker, 43, of Chicago, often travels with the presidential hopeful on the campaign trail and has vacationed with him in Hawaii. There’s talk Whitaker could be in line for a federal appointment if Obama becomes president.

Five years ago, Obama, then an Illinois state senator, gave a “glowing” reference for Whitaker to Tony Rezko, the now-convicted political fixer who helped Gov. Blagojevich find people to run state agencies. Blagojevich hired Whitaker to be the state’s public health director.

For the rest of the story Click Here

Friends of Barack – The Inner Circle

Good synopsis and screen print of the report at The Smoking Gun.

UPDATE:  Just read that Rahm Emanuel is in Africa, perhaps on Safari and, of course, Barack Obama is in Hawaii.  Could they have gotten any further away from the mainland as this shoe drops?   They should both be here to answer any and all questions about this.  I don’t think this delay, dodge, and sidestep is the hope-n-change that was promised.  The President-elect and two of his closest advisers being questioned by federal investigators is big news and it will not go away.  This should be all over the news.  But I shouldn’t be surprised it is being played down, they will cover for them.

UPDATE 2:  Well, darn, how did I miss this.  Whitaker and Jarrett are in Hawaii with Obama.

A Hawaii vacation over Christmas and New Year’s Eve has become a tradition for the Obamas and the families of three of their closest friends, Martin Nesbitt and his wife, Anita Blanchard; Eric Whitaker, and Valerie Jarrett. Obama contemplated a run for the presidency in Oahu over the holidays in 2006, telling reporters at the time that he would reveal his decision after he returned.[More Here]
Posted:  12.23.08  Updated:  12.23.08   Update 2:  12.24.08


Filed under Barack Obama, crime, Human Interest, politics, President Elect Barack Obama, Rod Blagojevich, Uncategorized

Barack Obama Visits Deli in Chicago

Today, as Congress is debating the auto industry and their requested bailout of billions, trying to avert economic disaster, President elect Obama is in Chicago, eating  a corned beef sandwich for lunch. (Is he still a member of the Senate?)


Valerie Jarrett, friend and transition team adviser, shown here with Obama at Manny’s Deli

When asked about the auto industry problems, he dodged the question.  “I got the corned beef,”  I think he picked the cherry pie, too.


Posted:  11.21.08


Filed under Barack Obama, Human Interest, life, politics, Uncategorized

Some Details on Obama’s New Team

President-elect Barack Obama has named John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse co-chairs of his transition team.

He has also named William Daley, Carol Browner, Federico Pena, and Janet Napolitano to his advisory panel.

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has accepted the job of White House chief of staff.

  • Rahm Emanuel – From Chicago.  Former ballet dancer.  Senior Advisor for Bill Clinton.  Appointed to Board of Directors of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in 2000 by Clinton.  The inspiration for the character Josh Lyman on The West Wing
  • John Podesta – From Chicago.  Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton.
  • Federico Pena – Mayor of Denver,  Colorado House of Representatives.  Headed US-DOT under Clinton, Secretary of Energy under Clinton (Bill Richardson followed him).
  • Pete Rouse – Overall, Rouse has worked on Capitol Hill  for more than 30 years, since 1971. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/26/AR2007082601446.html
  • Valerie Jarrett –  From Chicago.  See previous post:  https://bellalu0.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/obama-names-transition-team/
  • William Daley – From Chicago.  Brother of Chicago Mayor, Richard Daley.  Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton.  Manager of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential bid.
  • Carol Browner – Undergraduate and law degree from University of Florida.  Head of Florida Department of Environment Protection.  Administrator of EPA under Clinton.
  • Janet Napolitano –  Born in NYC.  Governor of Arizona.
  • Robert Gibbs – Press Secretary.  From Alabama.  Known for “taking on” Sean Hannity. (Note:  After reading more closely, Politico says “will be” named, but not formally offered or accepted.  Whatever that means.)

This is just some quick facts.  Maybe more later.

Posted:  11.09.08


Filed under politics, President Elect Barack Obama, Uncategorized

Obama Names Transition Team

President-elect Barack Obama has named John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse co-chairs of his transition team. He has also named William Daley, Carol Browner, Federico Pena and Janet Napolitano to his advisory panel. Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been offered the job of White House chief of staff.

More about Valerie Jarrett: valerie-jarrett

Jarrett has been close to both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for years and is now co-chairwoman of his transition team.  It is fair, I think, to say that her record shows much about both Obamas, since the three have been allies for so long.

Jarrett worked briefly as a lawyer for Mayor Harold Washington, and stayed on after his death to become Mayor Richard Daley’s Deputy Chief of Staff.  In other words, she was a key cog in the Daley machine.

She is also a businesswoman, CEO of the Habitat company, which manages housing in Chicago, not always successfully.  The Boston Globe did a very substantial investigation of the problems in some of the housing that she, and other allies of Obama, managed.  You should read their whole exposé, and even watch the video that accompanies it.

Flyover of the neighborhood where Obama served as a state senator, specifically, the apartment complexes rehabbed and managed by his biggest backers, like Tony Rezko and top campaign officials like Valerie Jarrett.  (below)



Appeared on Meet the Press 11.09.08.  To quote Ms. Jarrett: [Obama is] “ready to take power and begin to rule, day one.”  Interesting choice of words.

Posted:  11.08.08

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Filed under Barack Obama, politics, Uncategorized