Blagojevich said that Obama, even more than himself, had a longstanding, close association with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who had become the subject of his own federal probe – one that ultimately led to Rezko's conviction on fraud and bribery charges. The former governor said his very first meeting with Obama, then about to join the Illinois senate, came by way of Rezko's personal introduction.
The point Blagojevich sought to paint in his interview with Ross that Obama was the ultimate target of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of him.
"When they had me in custody they were very clear about they wanted me to cooperate and talk about people in higher places ,and with all due respect to Mayor Daley, there's no one higher than Governor," he said.Blagojevich's strategy in suggesting Obama is the ultimate target of Fitzgerald's investigation is patently obvious. He wants to place in the minds of potential jurors, particularly black jurors, in the case Fitzgerald plans to retry against him that if he is found guilty, this guy is going after Obama. Unfortunately, I don't think Obama has a thing to worry about. The reason I say that is because federal prosecutors went out of their way, to the point of weakening their own case against Blagojevich, to prevent ties to Obama from being brought out during the trial. Despite the criminal role Rezko played in some of the charges against Blagojevich, the government never called him as a witness. Rezko has never been sentenced despite his conviction more than two years ago at the insistence of federal prosecutors with whom Rezko has been cooperating in its case against Blagojevich. A key charge against Blagojevich, an attempt to sell Obama's Senate seat, involved conversations the former governor had with Obama and others close to him like Rahm Emanuel. Both Emanuel and Obama were key strategy advisers to Blagojevich during his first run for governor. Emanuel succeeded in taking Blagojevich's congressional seat when he ran for governor.
"You're talking about then president-elect Obama?" Ross asked.
"I'm not saying that right now." Asked who else he could mean, Blagojevich shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Is it your impression they were thinking about Obama?" Ross pressed.
"I have my own personal opinion but from where I'm sitting right now it's probably better for me not to talk about it." He then grinned, "If I'm guilty of anything it's that I talk too much."