Emanuel Said to Be Target of Alleged Extortion by Blagojevich

CHICAGO -- President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was the congressman targeted by an alleged extortion plan described in the indictment against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, FOX News has confirmed.

At the time, in 2006, Emanuel was the congressman from the 5th District on Chicago's North Side.

The indictment says the congressman sought a $2 million grant for a school. But Blagojevich allegedly told a lobbyist to tell the lawmaker his brother would have to raise campaign funds or the grant wouldn't go through.

Some of the funds were later released, even though no fundraiser had been held.

The White House declined to comment on the indictment.

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan to auction off President Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat marked the culmination of years of scheming for personal gain that included trying to extort a congressman and pressuring businesses to hire his wife, prosecutors alleged Thursday.

A sweeping 19-count federal indictment alleges that Blagojevich discussed with aides the possibility of getting a Cabinet post in the new president's administration, substantial fundraising assistance or a high-paying job in exchange for the Senate seat.

Obama's deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the White House would not comment on the indictment, which does not allege any wrongdoing by Obama or his top aides.

Prosecutors also accused Blagojevich and members of his inner circle of plotting to line their pockets with millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains. They are accused of squeezing contractors, hospital owners and others seeking state business for kickbacks they planned to split after the governor left office.

"I'm saddened and hurt but I am not surprised by the indictment," Blagojevich, who was in Walt Disney World with his family, said in a statement. "I am innocent. I now will fight in the courts to clear my name."

The indictment alleges Blagojevich told an aide in 2006 that he wanted to stall a $2 million state grant to a school supported by a congressman until the lawmaker's brother held a political fundraiser for the governor.

The indictment also alleges that Blagojevich:

--Was involved in a corrupt scheme to get a massive kickback in exchange for the refinancing of billions of dollars in state pension funds.

--Told an aide he didn't want executives with two financial institutions getting further state business after he concluded they were not helping his wife get a high-paying job.

--Withheld state aid sought by the Tribune Co. unless the company fired unfriendly editorial writers at the Chicago Tribune.

Also, convicted fixer Tony Rezko paid Patti Blagojevich a $14,396 real estate commission "even though she had done no work" to earn it and later hired her at a salary of $12,000 a month plus another $40,000 fee, the indictment said.