Nov 09 2010

Valerie Jarret Is Senate Candidate B, And She Has A Problem

Published by at 12:28 pm under All General Discussions

In a previous post regarding a not-so-well-redacted court filing by Team Blagojevich I speculated that “Senate Candidate B” was the current top adviser to the President, Valerie Jarrett. I can now confirm this is in fact the case, thanks to the White House Counsel’s report regarding the entire Obama senate seat kerfuffle:

At your [President Obama’s] direction, I arranged for transition staff to provide accounts of any contacts that you or they may have had with Governor Blagojevich or his office in which the subject of your successor came up.

These accounts were communicated to the Office of the United States Attorney in interviews that were conducted last week. At the request of the Office, we delayed the release of this report until such time as the interviews could be completed. The interviews took place over a period of three days: Thursday, December 18, 2008 (the President-Elect); December 19, 2008 (Valerie Jarrett); and December 20, 2008 (Rahm Emanuel).

In my previous post I noted that “Senate Candidate B” had been interviewed by the FBI and DoJ on December 19, 2008. A second citation in the redacted portion of the court filing listed Valerie Jarrett as being the person interviewed on that date, and that is why I concluded all references to “Senate Candidate B’s” testimony on that date were in fact the testimony of Valerie Jarrett.

Clearly I was correct. In fact, the WH counsel’s report confirms all my conclusions about who was being referenced in the filing. I got Jarrett, Balanoff and Stern right. I produced a clear version of the filing, with the previously redacted text now in bold blue text, and my assessment of who was being referred to in red text.

Which means Valerie Jarrett is in deep water for inconsistent statements regarding the sequence of events between the President-elect and Governor Blagojevich (and their respective ‘teams’). In the White House Counsel’s report, issued December 23rd and after Jarrett’s testimony to the FBI, Greg Craig produced this account from Valerie Jarrett:

Ms. Jarrett had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich , with his Chief of Staff, John Harris or with any other people from the Governor’s office about a successor to replace the President-Elect in the United States Senate or how the decision should be made. Nor did she understand at any time prior to his arrest that the Governor was looking to receive some form of payment or personal benefit for the appointment. Her only contact with the Governor was at the Governor’s Conference in Philadelphia on December 2, 2008, over three weeks after she had decided not to pursue the Senate seat and had accepted the President-Elect’s offer to work in the White House. She had a brief conversation with him on that occasion. He wished her well.

On November 7, 2008 — at a time when she was still a potential candidate for the Senate seat — Ms. Jarrett spoke with Mr. Tom Balanoff, the head of the Illinois chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Mr. Balanoff is not a member of the Governor’s staff and did not purport to speak for the Governor on that occasion. But because the subject of the Governor’s interest in a cabinet appointment came up in that conversation, I am including a description of that meeting.

Let’s stop right here for a second and revisit the references in the Blago filing to Jarrett’s testimony to the FBI:

The first big problem here is the timing: Jarrett told the FBI she talked to Balanoff the day of the election, not three days later as the WH Counsel’s report claims. The fact that events were initiated the day before and the day of the election (see time line later) clearly indicate premeditation – this was planned out.

The other problem Jarrett has is she admits Balanoff contacted her and explained the President-elect’s role in selecting his successor. While the WH Counsel report wants to claim Balanoff was not an emissary of Governor Blagojevich, Balanoff himself testified months later in February 2009 that he was, in fact, Obama’s emissary to represent Jarrett’s interest in Obama’s Senate Seat.

Even worse, Jarrett is attempting to cover up the fact she was not completely forthcoming with Craig’s investigation with her statement about not passing on the exact ‘language’ to the government there at the end. If this was Scooter Libby they would have crucified him for misrepresenting the facts in this manner. The cover up always nails these people.

Here is Balanoff’s testimony, which occurred the day before AG Eric Holder was sworn in, which confirms Obama’s role and direction to Balanoff to inform Blagojevich about Jarrett’s interest in the Senate seat:

Balanoff (and later SEIU President Andy Stern) testifies clearly that he is operating at the direction of President-elect Obama (actually, at the time of Balanoff’s testimony it was now President Obama). He had direct phone conversations with Obama. He discussed those phone conversations with Valerie Jarrett and Andy Stern. He was the intermediary working on Jarrett’s and Obama’s behalf.

Now let’s go back to Jarrett’s version of events in the White House Counsel’s report:

Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he had spoken to the Governor about the possibility of selecting Valerie Jarrett to replace the President-Elect. He told her that Lisa Madigan’s name also came up.

Whoa, hold on here! This means Jarrett and Balanoff did talk AGAIN on November 7th, this time after Balanoff had made contact with Governor Blagojevich. This contact between Balanoff and Blagojevich is also proven in the redacted areas of the court filing, this time via a wiretap, with a date for the meeting tentatively on November 6th. The day before Jarrett talks to Balanoff, according to the WH Counsel’s report:

So now we have two sources providing us pieces of the time line. But wait (as they say), there’s more:

Ms. Jarrett recalls that Mr. Balanoff also told her that the Governor had raised with him the question of whether the Governor might be considered as a possible candidate to head up the Department of Health and Human Services in the new administration. Mr. Balanoff told Ms. Jarrett that he told the Governor that it would never happen. Jarrett concurred.

So, Jarrett admits that during the Blagojevich-Balanoff discussion sometime on November 6th, 2008 Blago personally conveyed his price to Balanoff, who then the next day conveyed it to Valerie Jarrett. Balanoff is clearly the carrier pigeon for negotiating between Team Obama and Team Blagojevich. Which is in direct conflict with the statements made in the WH Counsel’s report.

But let’s get back to Jarrett’s version of events in the WH Counsel’s Report one last time:

Mr. Balanoff did not suggest that the Governor, in talking about HHS, was linking a position for himself in the Obama cabinet to the selection of the President-Elect’s successor in the Senate, and Ms. Jarrett did not understand the conversation to suggest that the Governor wanted the cabinet seat as a quid pro quo for selecting any specific candidate to be the President-Elect’s replacement. At no time did Balanoff say anything to her about offering Blagojevich a union

This seems to stretch credulity to the limits. If the response to Jarrett’s interest in Obama’s senate seat was an expression of interest in Secretary of HHS by Blago how is this not a quid pro quo? Even worse for Jarrett, is this part of her own FBI testimony in the redacted sections of the Blago court filing:

This is hard to parse, but Valerie Jarrett testified there was another person willing to be an emissary to Blago, via his wife. Was this a 3rd person who contacted Blago and was caught on a wire tap November 3rd discussing campaign cash for Jarrett being named to Obama’s Senate seat? And note the date on this one – prior to the election!

Jarrett knew Balanoff and this mysterious “Obama Supporter” were both trying to contact Blago. That is her testimony to the FBI. Testimony later confirmed by SEIU officials Stern and Balanoff, and also via wiretaps. Note in this last passage how President Obama triggers Balanoff to be ‘the one’ to be his emissary to Blagojevich the day before the election! This is a reference to SEIU President Andy Stern’s testimony, also in February 2009 in the Blago court filing:

As I said before, the phone call from Obama to Balanoff triggers a preplanned sequence of events. So now, let’s build a complete time line from what we can deduce:

Sometime prior to November 3rd: Obama and the SEIU agree that the SEIU will be Obama’s emissary to Blagojevich (if he wins the election) to relay his preferred successor, Valerie Jarret. In addition, Valerie Jarrett already knows a mysterious “Obama Supporter” is willing to contact Blago via his wife on Jarrett’s behalf. All they need to do is be sure of an Obama win.
November 3rd, day before the election: The Obama supporter is caught on a wiretap offering to exchange campaign funds in return for Blagojevich naming Jarrett. Also on this day Obama calls Balanoff, leaving a message to contact him. Balanoff finally connects with the President who designates him as the SEIU rep to be Obama’s and Jarrett’s emissary to Blagojevich. Balanoff calls SEIU President Andy Stern that same night to pass on what Obama had directed him to do.
November 4th, election day: Balanoff calls Valerie Jarrett and tells her Obama designated him the emissary to Blagojevich to push for her to be named to succeed Obama. Clearly the plan is now fully engaged.
November 5th: Blago and Harris are picked up on a wire tap discussing how Balanoff had contacted Blago about Obama’s successor. A meeting for the 6th is planned.
November 6th: Blago and Balanoff meet. Balanoff indicates Obama’s and Jarrett’s interest in Jarrett succeeding Obama. Blago conveys his interest in being HHS Secretary.
November 7th: Balanoff reports back to Jarrett on his discussions so far with Blago.
November 9th: Things are so hot around Blagojevich Jarrett pulls her name, but Obama keeps trying to get an ally in the Senate seat.

Is there any substantiating evidence to this time line? Yes there is, in the WH Counsel’s Report:

In the period immediately following the election on November 4, 2008 – on either November 6, 7 or 8 – Deputy Governor Louanner Peters called him [Dr. Eric Whitaker] at his office and left a message. When he returned the call, Ms. Peters asked who spoke for the President-Elect with respect to the Senate appointment. She explained that the Governor’s office had heard from others with recommendations about the vacant seat. She stated that the Governor’s office wanted to know who, if anyone, had the authority to speak for the President-Elect. Dr. Whitaker said he would find out.

The President-Elect told Dr. Whitaker that no one was authorized to speak for him on the matter.

With at least two emissaries hitting Blagojevich (“Obama Supporter” and Balanoff) I am not surprised Blago wanted to know who was to be listened to. It was about this time Balanoff was probably dismissing Blago’s preferred quid pro quo (HHS Secretary). I would wager the “Obama Supporter” was a little more open to options. But by now the president-elect’s team was tipped off about the wire taps and backing away.

So why would Obama need an ally in the Senate? Well we have a wealth of scandals to chose from. There is an Olympics angle that could have netted Jarrett $200 million in real estate deals (apparently she is a slum lord with land across from the Olympic site in Chicago). There’s the issues of Shorebank and another Obama candidate for his senate seat – Congresswoman Schakowsky. And then there is the mother load trough from which to skim billions of dollars – the Chicago Carbon Exchange.

Looks like there really is a huge potential scandal brewing under the surface here. Is it coincidence Obama went to plead with the Olympic Committee and IPCC in person his first year in office? Did he fall short in all these money schemes, just like he did with our economy?

Who knows, but I can see why the GOP might have its hands full with investigations.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Valerie Jarret Is Senate Candidate B, And She Has A Problem”

  1. Mike M. says:

    Jarett is in BIG trouble. Lying to Federal law enforcemnt is a felony in itself…see Martha Stewart for an example.

    Which means that all the Republicans have to do is to point the fact out and add the failure to prosecute to Eric Holder’s Causes to Impeach list.

  2. Redteam says:

    or ask Scooter Libby. Valarie ‘should’ be in deep doo-doo, but she won’t be. She’s a valued member of the entourage and the press will most likely protect her. But we can wish…..

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Free To Prosper, AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: new: Valerie Jarret Is <i>Senate Candidate B</i>, And She Has A Problem […]

  4. momdear1 says:

    Don’t count on the Republicans being able to do anything. They haven’t in the past. What makes you think they will in the future.?They are so busy trying to priove they are the Nice Guys that they have failed to even inform the voting public that the Dems are the dirty birds who have done just about every thing and violated every rule, reg. and law to hang onto power and loot the treasury, and none, I repeat, none of them are ever held accountable. Look at how the Republicans let the Dems seize Nixon’s White house tapes and withhold all of them except those portions that implied Nixon’s guilt for nearly 40 years while the Nixon family fought it’s way through the courts to gain custody of them. By the time the courts order the tapes realeased, Nixon’s name was forever tarnished and nobody alive cared whether he was unfairly maligned or not. It’s time someone told the Republicans that nice guys finish last. The Democrats lie all the time and nobody ever calls them on it. This deal is going to be swept under the rug just like all the others in the past. Anyone who tries to clean up the mess will be vilified and added to history’s list of vilified innocents who go down in history as “the the worst examples of political corruption in the history of the world.” Such is the way we allow our political system to work.

  5. stan25 says:

    Could this be the reason for the hung jury on all of the charges, but one, in the Blago case? The charge that Blago was convicted on was a very minor charge, in the scheme of things. Funny, how the jury decided to hang up on all of the rest of the more serious charges. Could have the fix been in all the time that the trial was going on? Maybe. Only the major participants would know for sure.

    While it is the right of a Defendant, not to testify in court, it seemed kind of strange at the time, that the defense did not put on a case. Surely, Blago and his attorneys would have put witnesses on the stand to refute the evidence that was presented. They just rested their case. Were they afraid that cross examination would implicate Barach Obama and others? Could be, but we will never know.

  6. Fai Mao says:

    The only hope that the Republicans have on this is that President Jelly-Jar has a rather low approval rating.

    A.J. you have done something here that should put all of the major paers and electronic news outlets to shame.

    I found a great deal of humor in his statement about the fraudulent elections in Myanamar yesterday. He should have been congradulating the Burmese generals on a job well done.

    The democrats are so corrupt.

  7. Redteam says:

    AJ, sorry to put this comment here, but it’s seems to be the latest thing published.

    ANYHOW, you being a NASA associate, what was the missile launch off the CA coast all about and why is the military trying to cover someone’s ass?

    We all know that if someone throws a frisbee in the air, Norad knows when it was launched and where it will land, all within seconds, so all this: ‘ WE don’t know anything’ BS is just that.

  8. AJStrata says:

    I think it was just a jet contrail, but if it what a test missile launch they would not tell us.

  9. Redteam says:

    I think after looking at lots of pictures that are similar, that it probably was a jet contrail. What I don’t understand tho, when asked why didn’t they just say it was a contrail of a XXX passenger jet, flight no. xxx from xxx to xxx and here is the Air Trafffic control radar plot showing that flight. That would have ended it. But their response should make us all wonder if we are spending all that money on a missile detection system that doesn’t work. Maybe that’s where we can save some money.

  10. sbd says:

    DATE: 11/04/2008
    TIME: 8:57 A.M.
    ACTIVITY: Rod Blagojevich home line incoming call.
    SESSION: 171 and 173
    BLAGOJEVICH: Rod Blagojevich
    HARRIS: John Harris
    * * * *


    HARRIS Hello.

    BLAGOJEVICH How’s it goin’?

    HARRIS Okay, how are you?

    BLAGOJEVICH Alright. On the phone with Greenlee. Got a lot of stuff to think about today. We gotta work on this, tomorrow’s schedule, what we do.

    HARRIS Right, right.

    BLAGOJEVICH So p-, put out, put in that, uh, Andy Stern and Balanoff came to see me about Obama’s choice for, uh, senator.

    FYI seems to have removed all of their posts for most of November 2008 from their website. I also checked the Internet Archive and it stopped archiving the site as of July 30, 2008.

    HARRIS Oh, that’s how…

    BLAGOJEVICH Valerie Jarrett.

    HARRIS …that’s how they wrote it up?


    HARRIS Yeah, we should simply just say we meet with Andy and Balanoff often on a number of issues.

    BLAGOJEVICH Well, my point is…

    HARRIS Yeah.

    BLAGOJEVICH …that they probably got that from Andy Stern. That’s a good sign. That would suggest he’s an, you know, an emissary for Obama, right?

    HARRIS Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH I mean possibly.

    HARRIS Yeah.

    BLAGOJEVICH I mean they could be emissaries for Valerie Jarrett but I got a feeling in this case it’s not.

    HARRIS No, I don’t think it’s for Valerie as much as it is for Barack. But it still puzzles me why they wouldn’t be a little bit more, uh, overt about it.

    BLAGOJEVICH I’ll tell you why, because they don’t want anybody to say that he’s saying it.

    HARRIS Right.

    BLAGOJEVICH They don’t want a trick bag, he, he, they want to be very careful and protect him.

    HARRIS Yeah, that’s what we talked about last night. The probability of Obama trying, being overt about it is low because of all the other people he’ll piss off.


    HARRIS But they did recommend to us, just call and put the question right on him.

    BLAGOJEVICH What’s that?

    HARRIS They did recommend to us to call Dave and put the question right on him.

    BLAGOJEVICH Yeah, another indication, isn’t it?

    HARRIS Well, that’s, that’s contrary to the other indication. I mean if they, if they think Obama needs to be circumspect and that it, it’s in his best interest to be circumspect, why would they ask us to call and put the question on him?

    BLAGOJEVICH Well, because you’re not callin’ Obama, you’re callin’ Axelrod, right?

    HARRIS Yeah, well I…

    BLAGOJEVICH Axelrod’s gonna speak for Obama.

    HARRIS …yeah.

    BLAGOJEVICH But at the same time, protect him.

    HARRIS Right.

    BLAGOJEVICH So let’s analyze that. So, tomorrow morning, I would call, I mean, first, I should call Axelrod and congratulate him, shouldn’t I?

    HARRIS Sure, sure.


    HARRIS Sure.

    BLAGOJEVICH So I call him and congratulate him and then do I bring the Senate thing up or let him do it? I’ll say, man, you guys, boy, historic, that’s unbelievable, you played, you’re in history books. Congratulations. You know.

    HARRIS I think if you call him to congratulate him, he’ll raise it if he wants to talk about it.

    BLAGOJEVICH Right, and if he doesn’t raise it, I don’t raise it.

    HARRIS Correct.

    DATE: 11/07/2008TIME: 4:11 P.M. ACTIVITY: Rod Blagojevich home line incoming call.SESSION: 403, 405, 406 and 408
    BLAGOJEVICH: Rod Blagojevich
    YANG: Fred Yang
    HARRIS: John Harris
    STEWART: Mary Stewart

    * * * *
    page 5

    BLAGOJEVICH I said, “so my record, the stuff I’ve worked on and I care about, all our kids gettin’ health care, 9 million American kids don’t have health care, you know, this would be a place, you know, that I would find worth, you know, givin’ up a governor’s job to do that.”

    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH “And if I’d get that, and, and, and if, if that was somethin’ available to me and maybe it’s really unrealistic, but if that was available to me I could do Valerie Jarrett in a heartbeat.”

    YANG Mm-hmm.


    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH So he thought it through, you know, and he’s a little con-, concerned with, you know, well, maybe not right away and I say, “well, look, because, because of the Rezko stuff, Tom? Is that what you think?” And, well, he didn’t want directly say it so I talked about the Rezko stuff.

    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH You know, and, uh, he said “well, maybe,if Mad-, if, uh, Barack kinda weighs in with Madigan, you know”.

    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH …and, and I said “well, you think that’ll make a difference?” He said “well, yeah, Madigan doesn’t really listen to anybody. He doesn’t listen to Durbin, does he?” I said “no, Durbin’s afraid of him.” He said “well, you know Barack’s sort of like way up there now, you know, he’s in a place that’s very different from other people and, you know, maybe Madigan would listen to him.” I said “well, if he’s so high up then I don’t see why it’s so hard for him to make a governor who gave 700,000 people health care a head of Health and Human Services, is another way of looking, lookin’ at it.”

    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH So, uh, he liked the, and I told him, you know, why I liked it. He liked it for me and I said look, and if I’m, then, then I did point this out. I said “so, you know, I’ve gotta consider all these factors, whether, where I can be viable, where I can’t be vi-, viable to just, to send Valerie Jarrett to Washington to please him and there’snothin’ that assures me that I can do something here in Illinois, wouldn’t I just be better off just taken the Senate seat myself?”

    YANG Mm-hmm.

    BLAGOJEVICH “At least there I can work on health care and do stuff.” He acknowledged that. So I put all that in his head. They then got together with Valerie Jarrett and I guess others this morning because the message was sent to me by Doug, that Balanoff would like to see me in like, as soon, you know, at re-, we reasonably can get together, um, and his sense was they were, they didn’t know what to make of the Health and Human Services request.

    YANG Right.

    BLAGOJEVICH That Barack would quote unquote, he wants to get away from Illinois politics. To me that’s a euphemism for Rezko.

    YANG Right.


    YANG Well, and, and also, governor, he went with Rahm as chief of staff.

    BLAGOJEVICH Correct.

    YANG That’s another Illinois guy.

    BLAGOJEVICH Correct. So Illinois politics to me is, and Axelrod, is more Rezko.

    page 17

    BLAGOJEVICH And then how, how often do you wanna be governor of Illinois? That’s the other one and then, then the other factor is well, what about your family? Now, you know I’m under, you know, what I believe is disgusting federal investigations, with them out to get me and I, I’ve been nothin’ but fuckin’ tryin’ to be very honest in my administration. You know made some misjudgements, but compared to even Obama, you know, I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him. But I’m fuckin’…

    YANG Mm-hmm.


  11. […] Is The Blagojevich Scandal For Obama’s Senate Seat Widening? Close friend Valerie Jarret may  e headed for some deep, hot water. […]

  12. JoanOfArgghh says:

    You’re doing a great thing by not letting Valerie Jarrett out of your sites.

    I’ve been feeling like a lonely voice on most forums, bringing up Jarrett and her background and her influence.

    For a woman known as “Obama’s Brain” (and proudly touted as such by the Iranian-Americans) she is way too far under the radar for my comfort.

    She is driving the bus, and if not Obama’s soul-mate then she is likely a surrogate mother; the comforter and refuge from the froward women in his life. Dangerous stuff.

  13. AJStrata says:

    Thanks Joan – I too have had a long running suspicion about her. And when I realized what she and her company did with Grove Parc I was stunned. She really is a slum lord who failed basic human decency!

  14. […] AJ Strata reports on an up and coming WH scandal: Valerie Jarret Is Senate Candidate B, And She Has A Problem […]

  15. […] for a while, and they seemed to be legit – if not stubbornly useless (see here, here and here). One reason I was starting to believe the yarn being spun by the niche web author and a supposed […]