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llinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, says goodbye to his two daughters in a mini van as his wife Patti waits to depart their home in Chicago, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

llinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, says goodbye to his two daughters in a mini van as his wife Patti waits to depart their home in Chicago, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Obama: No Blagojevich Contact, No “Inappropriate Discussions”

December 15, 2008 05:08 PM EST | AP

CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama had no direct contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the appointment of a Senate replacement and his aides had “no inappropriate discussions,” a spokesman for the transition office said Monday in disclosing the results of an internal review.

The spokesman, Dan Pfeiffer, said the review itself would be kept confidential at least until the week of Dec. 22 at the request of federal prosecutors “in order not to impede their investigation of the governor.”

Controversy has swirled around the president-elect and his incoming White House chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, following Blagojevich’s arrest last week on charges he schemed to trade Obama’s Senate seat for personal gain.

As governor, Blagojevich has sole authority to appoint a replacement, although fellow Democrats have demanded he refrain from doing so and Illinois lawmakers may consider legislation stripping him of his power.

State lawmakers also took the first step toward possible impeachment during the day.

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