The Corner

The Blagojevich Scandal: Who Is Advisor B?

I have a new story up about the Blagojevich scandal and the roles of intermediaries in the discussions about who would fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat:

Barack Obama has flatly said that he has “not discussed the Senate seat with [Blagojevich] at any time.”  If that is true — and Obama will undoubtedly be asked the broader question of whether he communicated in any way with Blagojevich on the subject — then the big story in the Blagojevich scandal is the role of intermediaries.  Throughout the criminal complaint filed against Blagojevich, there are references to unnamed individuals who play important roles in the scandal — and who know a lot about what went on and who was involved.  None of those intermediaries is more intriguing than the person referred to as “Advisor B.”

If you read the complaint, Advisor B, who is said to be based in Washington, is in the middle of just about everything.  He — the complaint refers to Advisor B as “he” — is on the phone when Blagojevich discusses a variety of options, all of them corrupt, through which Blagojevich might profit from filling the Senate seat.  The complaint says Advisor B was partial to the “three way option” involving the Service Employees International Union and its group Change to Win because such a deal would involve fewer Obama “fingerprints” than some of the other options being discussed. 

The key question in all of this is whether all the discussions were between people in the Blagojevich camp or whether any of them reached outside the Blagojevich circle to people in the Obama camp.  Advisor B might well know the answer.

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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