This evening, the Chicago Sun-Times’ website, http://www.suntimes.com/index.html, reported that Mayor Emanuel may be called as a defense witness for former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The defense team for the former governor has also identified United States (U.S.) Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr as another defense witness. The two gentlemen are expected to provide support for the former governor that he did not “try to sell” President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. The interesting discussion, however, is whether the gentlemen will speak freely about the circumstances surrounding the Senate seat or protect themselves. There are three options, or doors, that the gentlemen may choose.
Door number one is to tell the truth. This is the most unlikely option for either of these gentlemen. The audio tapes in possession of the prosecution indicate that both gentlemen shielded themselves from this negotiation. While neither “directly” worked a deal, both were mentioned by the former governor as providing offerings for a favorable vote. In any case, neither individual will stand up and speak the truth about “Chicago politics” and the hierarchy surrounding it.
Door number two is to blame a subordinate. This is also an unlikely option for Mayor Emanuel or U.S. Representative Jackson, Jr. While both gentlemen were indirectly implicated in the prosecution’s tapes, neither was directly taped offering a deal. This “plausible deniability” enables each to blame their respective subordinates for “confusion.” Neither will, however, because they don’t want their subordinates to be grilled under oath by the prosecution. By preventing subordinate prosecution, each gentleman is keeping the “same” story alive in the respective camp. That is, until a lawyer tells them to change.
Door number three is the most interesting. This option enables each prospective defense witness to claim immunity from providing information. Mayor Emanuel may claim immunity because, as White House Chief of Staff, he was working on behalf of the President. Given that, all communications must be classified in order to protect the President. Representative Jackson, Jr may claim that his staff was working to identify “culprits” preventing the fair selection of Illinois’ next U.S. Senator. Given that, Representative Jackson, Jr may claim that he was actually assisting the federal government in an “unofficial” investigation, sort of.
In any case, doors one and two are not appealing or not possible for Mayor Emanuel or Representative Jackson, Jr. Door number three, however, provides both an opportunity to hide behind political positions while not directly “screwing” a former friend. While former Governor Rod Blagojevich may not be a true friend, both gentlemen understand that politics breeds strange bedfellows and silence is “the Chicago Way.”