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Internal review finds no inappropriate contact of Obama's staff with governor
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09:43, December 16, 2008

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An internal review found no inappropriate contact of President-elect Barack Obama's staff with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was charged with corruption, Obama's transition office said on Monday.

Obama's Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement that the 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 (Obama's) successor as U.S. Senator."

The review was conducted after the governor was arrested on Tuesday on federal fraud and bribery charges, including an alleged attempt to profit from naming the replacement for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama, which brought controversy to the president-elect with only 40 days to go before his inaugural ceremony.

Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement in the corruption cases and also expressed confidence that his staff has no business with the governor's wrongdoings.

He also joined some Illinois lawmakers in calling for Blagojevich's resignation after the governor was released on bail, and the formation of a special legal body to select his successor in Congress.

However, Pfeiffer said that the release of the review would be deferred at the request of the state attorney general's office until the week of Dec. 22, "in order not to impede their investigation of the governor."

He also said that incoming White House counsel Gregory Craig has kept federal prosecutors informed of the internal review "in order to ensure our full cooperation with the investigation" into allegations against the governor.


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