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Published: Tuesday, 12/9/2008

US Atty: Not alleging Obama knew of Ill. gov. plan


CHICAGO The U.S. Attorney in Chicago says his office is making "no allegations" that President-elect Barack Obama was aware of any alleged scheming by arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY'-uh-vich).

Blagojevich was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by Obama to the highest bidder.

At a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said the corruption charges against the governor represent "a truly new low."

An FBI affidavit says the 51-year-old Democrat was intercepted on wiretaps conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife.

Fitzgerald described the situation by saying: "We were in the middle of a corruption crime spree and we wanted to stop it."

The governor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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