Charles Hurt
New York Daily Post
June 22, 2010

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tried trading favors with Rod Blagojevich, according to e-mails revealed yesterday.

Within hours of agreeing to sign a letter of support for Blagojevich — the former governor of Illinois now on trial facing corruption charges — in the Chicago Tribune during one of his many controversies, then-Congressman Emanuel asked for help releasing a $2 million grant payment to a school in the district Emanuel represented at the time.

The e-mails were between Emanuel, his congressional staff and Bradley Tusk, Blagojevich’s top aide at the time. Tusk, who is testifying in the Blagojevich trial, also ran Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election campaign.

“Would you be willing to send something like this to the Trib in response to today’s editorial?” Tusk e-mailed Emanuel, referring to a proposed letter to the editor.

According to the e-mails obtained by The Associated Press, Emanuel agreed and later that day the congressman’s chief of staff suggested that someone contact the state employee overseeing the grant that Emanuel wanted released to the Chicago Academy, a teacher preparatory school in Emanuel’s district that wanted to build athletic fields.

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