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December 29, 2008 11:01 AM

Blago Update: Obama Aides Lawyer Up

Posted by Zach Lowe

As The Am Law Daily fled for the suburbs on Christmas Eve, we neglected to update you on the work Am Law 100 lawyers are getting as the result of the Rod Blagojevich scandal in Illinois.

Luckily, our friends at sibling publication Legal Times have our back, reporting in this post that Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, has hired Debevoise & Plimpton partner W. Neil Eggleston for advice as the federal corruption case against the Illinois governor unfolds.

Meanwhile, longtime Obama confidante -- and presidential adviser-in-waiting -- Valerie Jarrett has looked to Chicago-based Mayer Brown partner Vincent Connelly, Legal Times says.

Last week, the Obama transition team issued a report in which it cleared the president-elect's aides of having any inappropriate contact with Blagojevich, who stands accused of trying to sell Obama's U.S. senate seat to the highest bidder. Neither Emanuel nor Jarrett has been charged with any wrongdoing. 

While neither Emanuel nor Jarrett have been accused of wrongdoing, their hiring of heavy hitters Eggleston and Connelly shows that they aren't taking any chances, Legal Times notes.

Eggleston, former associate counsel to President Bill Clinton, has represented President George W. Bush's former political director, Sara Taylor, in the ongoing investigation over the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. He also helped Clinton during Kenneth Starr's independent counsel probe and advised Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, during the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. 

Connelly is an experienced white-collar defense attorney, Legal Times says.

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