Just weeks after President Obama won the 2008 election, the governor of Illinois was charged with trying to sell Obama's old Senate seat. It was an early challenge for the then president-elect, and he responded in a grand gesture of transparency. He asked Greg Craig, his future White House Counsel, to investigate "any staff contacts or communications" with Governor Rod Blagojevich's office. Less than two weeks later, Craig released a public report, which purported to remove any lingering doubt about the President's involvement in the matter. It read in part:
The President-Elect had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich or members of his staff about the Senate seat. In various conversations with transition staff and others, the President-Elect expressed his preference that Valerie Jarrett work with him in the White House. He also stated that he would neither stand in her way if she wanted to pursue the Senate seat nor actively seek to have her or any other particular candidate appointed to the vacancy.
This all seemed rather open and shut. Since the press had no information suggesting otherwise, President Obama was allowed to move on from the scandal. But recent testimony in the Blagojevich trial suggests that Craig's report and Obama's effort at transparency failed to tell the entire story.