Obama review clears staff in Blagojevich probe.
An internal review by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's office has concluded: his aides had no improper contact with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell Obama's Senate seat...in exchange for money or a powerful position.
He has denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign from his job.
The report - released late Tuesday afternoon - details contacts between Obama staffers and Blagojevich and his employees.
Those include "one or two" calls between Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Blagojevich regarding the transition team's recommendations for the job.
In a conference call with reporters, Obama's incoming White House attorney Greg Craig said Emanuel knew of no effort to negotiate a deal in exchange for the Senate appointment:
SOUNDBITE: Incoming White House Attorney Greg Craig, saying (audio only over Blagojevich and Obama stills):
"There's actually six names that Rahm submits to the governor for consideration. But as the report says there was no discussion with Rahm or the governor or his chief of staff about a cabinet position, a 501(c) 4 foundation, a private sector position or any other personal benefit for the governor."
Obama's transition office said that the report was completed last week but delayed at the request of prosecutors, who were still interviewing witnesses for the Blagojevich probe.
The U.S. Attorney's office has said that the president-elect is not a focus of the investigation. On vacation in Hawaii, Obama has not yet commented on the report's findings.
Katharine Jackson, Reuters.
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