The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says that later today it is announcing developments in a significant investigation. Sources familiar with the situation said the announcement is expected to be the indictment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and others on corruption charges.
Blagojevich, 52, was arrested Dec. 9 and charged with engaging in pay-to-play politics in a sweeping federal complaint that accused him of trading state jobs, contracts and regulatory favors for campaign contributions.
The criminal complaint charged Blagojevich with attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama and dangling the prospect of state help for the sale of Wrigley Field in return for the firing of Tribune editorial writers. The ballpark and newspaper are owned by Tribune Co.
The allegations included that he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said investigators moved quickly to stop a crime spree.
But in doing so, prosecutors had to charge Blagojevich in a criminal complaint, not an indictment. An indictment is necessary because defendants cannot be tried on criminal complaints, which are used only to initiate criminal cases.
Blagojevich has denied any wrongdoing.
There is some kind of irony or poetic justice that this man will be indicted as he frolics with Mickey Mouse at Disney World in Florida today.