If the Chicago Sun Times' Michael Sneed is correct and there are 21 taped conversations between Rahm Emanuel and Rod Blagojevich
, the trouble for the incoming WH chief of staff is just beginning. Given Emanuel's deserved reputations for smarts and toughness, it is likely he wasn't approached by Blago on the pay-to-play conspiracy, but the prospect of blunt talk between the congressman and the governor about many subjects and people has to be unsettling to the president-elect and his most important aide..
Question for criminal defense lawyers: If these tapes exist, is Blagojevich entitled to them? Please send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Blago's defense team is entitled to the tapes, the prospect of slow, selective leaking of parts of the exchanges is part of the calculation about political damage now underway at the office of the president-elect. The president-elect would be best served by calling on the U.S. Attorney to release any and all tapes between any of his advisor or staff and Blagojevich and his staff. Better to get all of the shop talk, however salty, out early and completely than drip by drip over the next few months.