Obama, December 11: “I’ve asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor’s office about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days.”
It is now four days later. Just how much time does it take to assemble a list of who had contact with Blagojevich and his staff and when? How long does it take to put together, “A met with B on the day of C, and they discussed D; E met with F on the day of G, and they discussed H”?
Yes, Fitzgerald said Obama is not a target of the investigation. But when a relatively simple question is met with foot-dragging, one remembers that the truth is available immediately, but lies take time to coordinate.
Maybe Obama will provide the information at today’s press conference; if not, the press must start asking the incoming president whether he really thinks the people have a right to this information, and if so, what justifies the delay.
We’re repeatedly told that because Fitzgerald said Obama is not a target, everything on his side of this mess is on the up-and-up. If indeed that is the case, you would think that Team Obama would be eager to get this information out.
I guess I’m just remembering a similar pledge:
Now, there are a lot of other questions that are, I think, very legitimate. You have a right to ask them; you and the American people have a right to get answers. We are working very hard to comply and get all the requests for information up here, and we will give you as many answers as we can, as soon as we can, at the appropriate time, consistent with our obligation to also cooperate with the investigations.
And that’s not a dodge, that’s really why I’ve – I’ve talked with our people. I want to do that. I’d like for you to have more rather than less, sooner rather than later. So we’ll work through it as quickly as we can and get all those questions out there to you.
Those words came from Bill Clinton, responding to questions about an affair with Monica Lewinsky, January 22, 1998.
UPDATE: The Obama team says they have the information assembled, but Fitzgerald wants the information held until the week of December 22.
I wonder why. No sarcasm in that, I just genuinely wonder why.