Why did Fitz seemingly rush forward with the Blago criminal complaint? The Wall Street Journal‘s Washington Wire says that the Chicago Tribune may have blown Fitz’s chance to catch Obama’s seat being sold on tape:
Members of Fitzgerald’s team are livid the scheme didn’t advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgerald’s office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.
The precise timing of Tuesday’s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich’s alleged “crime spree.” It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI’s affidavit in the case.
. . . .
At Fitzgerald’s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office. . . . But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribune’s own cooperation deal with the prosecutor.
As a result, the piece explains, Blago cancelled an in-person meeting that he had set up to get “something tangible” in return for delivering the seat to Candidate No. 5.
Once again, the press stomps all over the government’s efforts to effectively rein in the bad guys.
Enjoy bankruptcy, gents.