The dealing seemed very close to a climax — and an explosive political scandal. And then, on the morning of December 5, the Chicago Tribune ran a story on its front page reporting that law enforcement had secretly recorded Blagojevich's conversations as part of a criminal investigation. Blagojevich immediately instructed Fundraiser A to "undo" the plan to meet personally with the associate of Candidate Five. Blagojevich instead turned his energy to preparing his legal defense.
The deal was off, blown, apparently, by the Tribune's report. For anyone who has watched the case, the astonishing thing is that Blagojevich, prior to December 5, could possibly have assumed that he wasn't under surveillance. But he apparently did, making for some of the juiciest political wiretaps in years. And he appeared to be moving toward actually making a corrupt deal to sell Obama's Senate seat when he finally, belatedly, figured things out. And that seems to be the best explanation for why prosecutor Fitzgerald went public on December 9, instead of letting the case continue for a while longer.
Other press reports have suggested that Candidate Five is Jesse Jackson Jr.