Giannoulias and the Blago trial

Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias (Ill.) spent the weekend answering questions about former Gov. Rod Blagojevich after news that he was subpoenaed in Blagojevich's corruption trial.   

In an interview Sunday, Giannoulias told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet that he contacted Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris to offer his thoughts on the vacancy. Giannoulias said he suggested Valerie Jarrett for the seat. 

He also attended a meeting with Jarrett and labor leader Tom Balanoff where the Senate vacancy was discussed. From Lynn Sweet: 

Because of the Senate race, in which Giannoulias faces U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, the GOP nominee, Republicans are trying to drag Giannoulias into the Blagojevich mess.

"Despite what the Republicans are trying to say," Giannoulias told me, "I am really not a part of this circus. I think you know I have always thought very highly of Valerie."

After the presidential election, Giannoulias told me he "reached out to Harris to give him my thoughts and at a certain point, Tom Balanoff reached out to me to get in touch with Valerie; he did not know how to get ahold of her. I put the two together in the meeting."

The meeting was held in the office of John Rogers, a close friend of the Obamas and Jarrett. Giannoulias attended the meeting. He said Jarrett was not aggressively pushing for the seat, but she wanted to "hear Tom out."