Blagojevich taken into custody

BLAGOJEVICH TAKEN INTO CUSTODY…. Allegations surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) have been circulating for quite some time, and this morning, the controversial governor was reportedly taken into federal custody.

Federal agents made undercover tape recordings of Gov. Rod Blagojevich with the help of one of his closest advisers, according to a published report issued Friday.

The Chicago Tribune reported that former Blagojevich aide John Wyma helped with an investigation that led to tapings of Blagojevich and others. […]

Investigators are looking into allegations of corruption, involving Blagojevich and the Health Facilities Planning Board, as well as the Teachers Retirement System. The investigation has been going on for several years, and initially, Blagojevich dismissed the claims. But the probe later resulted in the indictment and conviction of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Blagojevich’s chief political fundraiser.

The announcement comes shortly after the Chicago Tribune reported that the three-year corruption investigation of pay-to-play politics in Blagojevich’s administration “has expanded to include his impending selection of a new U.S. senator to succeed President-elect Barack Obama.” There was, apparently, reason to believe Blagojevich’s search for Obama’s replacement has become “tainted.”

There’s obviously a lot of questions about what happens next, but right now, I’m wondering who’ll get to pick the next senator from Illinois if Blagojevich is facing criminal charges.

Stay tuned.

Update: MSNBC and the Chicago Tribune report that Blagojevich was, in fact, arrested at his home this morning, and will appear in federal court later today to face the charges.

Second Update: In case you’re curious — I was — the Lt. Gov. of Illinois is Democrat Pat Quinn.

And the prosecutor who’s been leading this investigation? His name might sound familiar: Patrick Fitzgerald. Yes, that Patrick Fitzgerald, whose reputation for nailing political figures who violate the public trust is well deserved.

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