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WASHINGTON - JANUARY 20: Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel makes a funny gesture ahead of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rahm Emmanuel
Computer records from Blago’s top aide, John Harris, show that on the day that Emanuel was named White House Chief of Staff in 2008, Harris was searching the web for information on congressional appointments, according to the Sun-Times which sent a FOIA request to the governors office to obtain the records.
Harris’s computer history shows that he entered the term “temporary appointment to fill vacancies in the house of representatives.”
The search term seems to back up speculation that Rahm Emanuel asked Rod Blagojevich to appoint Forrest Claypool, a Cook County Commissioner to his congressional seat in order to “keep it warm” for him while he worked for President Obama.
Emanuel reportedly was a top contender to win Speaker of the House, and wanted to come back to Congress after a term in the White House to pursue that goal, the Sun-Times reported in September.
Blagojevich did not have the authority to appoint a temporary successor with out the consent of the state legislature, according to Wikipedia, the second Google hit for the terms Harris entered.
Claypool said in September that the idea was “insanity” and that no conversations ever took place.
Emanuel and Harris declined to comment on the search terms.