The FBI says that during an Oct. 31 conversation, Blagojevich described an approach from an associate of Senate Candidate 5: "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him [Senate Candidate 5] a senator."
On Thursday, the FBI says Blagojevich "was giving Senate Candidate 5 greater consideration for the Senate seat" because he might "get some [money] up front, maybe."
Blagojevich is back to business as usual working in his Chicago office today, which is his 52nd birthday. "The day-to-day operation doesn't change nor is it affected. There are still critical state issues that he wants to address -- things like dealing with the current financial crisis, looking at ways to keep people in their homes and finding ways to create jobs -- and will continue to do so as governor," said a spokesperson. Meanwhile, Obama and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) are now calling for the governor's resignation.
Meanwhile, a top aide to Blagojevich, Illinois Deputy Governor Bob Greenlee, resigned today. The reason for his resignation wasn't immediately clear.
Blagojevich met with Jackson Jr. Monday afternoon and said he was close to making a decision about whom he would appoint.
The governor was arrested by the FBI early Tuesday morning in order to "stop a crime spree," according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Jackson Jr. said Tuesday that he met with Blagojevich Monday "for the first time in years" and voiced his desire to fill Obama's empty Senate seat. He said he was "shocked" by Blagojevich's arrest, adding that "if these allegations are proved true, I am outraged by the appalling, pay-to-play schemes hatched at the highest levels of our state government."
Following his press conference Wednesday, Jackson Jr. said that "at no point in time" was he told that he would be named Obama's replacement.
Jackson Jr. is only one of a number of Illinois political figures whom the FBI is expected to interview in Chicago and Washington. But fellow Illinois Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez, Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis, as well as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, all say they have not been contacted by the FBI or prosecutors in connection to the Blagojevich investigation.
Madigan has confirmed, however, that she is Senate Candidate #2 in the affidavit, but she denied having any conversations with Governor Blagojevich about the Senate seat.
According to the affidavit, Blagojevich wanted it leaked to the Chicago-Tribune that Senate candidate number 2 was running for the vacant seat because he wanted to "send a message to the [President-elect's] people."
Madigan said that if Blagojevich does not resign and the legislature fails to impeach him, she is prepared to invoke Illinois law that could result in his removal from office. She said she may be prepared to take this step sooner rather than later if it appears the legislative impeachment process is too protracted, declaring "Illinois needs a new Governor."
In addition to the hours of wiretap tapes, which reveal only Blagojevich's version of events, agents are seeking firsthand accounts from anyone who dealt with Blagojevich over Obama's vacant Senate seat.