Did Blagojevich superlobbyist John Wyma tip off his good friend, Rahm Emanuel, to back away from Blago because the feds were closing in?
A timeline of events certainly raises that possibility. Note that Obama and his people are pushing hard for Jarrett before the tone changes on Nov. 10, 2008:
October 2008—Wyma begins cooperating with feds.
Nov. 3—Rahm Emanuel tells Blagojevich Chief of Staff John Harris that Obama’s preference for his soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat is Valerie Jarrett.
Nov. 4—SEIU Midwest President Tom Balanoff returns Barack Obama’s call and vows to deliver message to Blagojevich about Obama’s preference for Jarrett.
Nov. 5—Obama elected president.
Nov. 6-8—According to WH report, Emanuel has “one or two” conversations with Blagojevich expressing his preference that Blago pick Jarrett.
Nov. 7—Balanoff meets with Blagojevich and delivers the message that Obama wants Jarrett.
Nov. 7—Balanoff discusses Senate seat with Jarrett, who still is interested.
Nov. 9—WH report says Jarrett withdraws her name from consideration for WH seat.
Nov. 10—Wyma, acting as an emissary for Emanuel and Obama, tells Harris that all that Blagojevich can expect from a Jarrett selection is “thanks and gratitude.”
Wyma was not directly participating in the wiretaps so it is impossible to know whether he knew the feds were zeroing in on the Senate conversations. But Wyma certainly knew the end was near for Blagojevich and if he got wind from Emanuel that he was negotiating with Blago, he easily could have told his friend Rahm to back off.
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Natasha Korecki smelled something funny more than a year ago. She was the first to point out Rahm’s apparent about face.
Wyma’s call on behalf of Emanuel was uncharacteristic, sources said. Before that, it was Emanuel who pushed for a Jarrett appointment.
The revelation that Emanuel allegedly asked an intermediary to contact Blagojevich’s camp raises questions about whether Emanuel sought to distance himself from Blagojevich at a time when he has said he was unaware of alleged deal-making by the governor. Wyma’s attorney, Zachary Fardon, would not comment. An Emanuel spokeswoman referred to the Obama report.
I’d guess that Wyma warned Rahm right before Rahm told him to deliver the message that no deal would be forthcoming.
If I were a reporter at the federal courthouse, that’s the first question I’d ask the superlobbyist.