We don’t know for sure who Senate Candidate 5 is. But we’ll likely find out. So it’s worth understanding what his or her (though it appears to be his) alleged role in the affair is.
For Candidate 5, the most damaging passage in the document is this:
On December 4, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke to Advisor B and informed Advisor B that he was giving Senate Candidate 5 greater consideration for the Senate seat because, among other reasons, if ROD BLAGOJEVICH ran for re-election Senate Candidate 5 would “raise money” for ROD BLAGOJEVICH, although ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he might “get some (money) up front, maybe” from Senate Candidate 5 to insure Senate Candidate 5 kept his promise about raising money for ROD BLAGOJEVICH. (In a recorded conversation on October 31, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH described an earlier approach by an associate of Senate Candidate Five as follows: “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator.”)
That last part, in which the governor says he was approached by an “emissary” from Candidate 5 proposing a pay-to-play deal for Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat, is the key. Though it’s worth noting, of course, that Blagojevich hardly has a reputation for honesty.
There is also this passage:
Later on December 4, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke to Fundraiser A. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated he was “elevating” Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates for the open Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided ROD BLAGOJEVICH with something “tangible up front.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH noted he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to reach out to Individual D, an individual who ROD BLAGOJEVICH is attempting to obtain campaign contributions from and who, based on intercepted phone calls, ROD BLAGOJEVICH believes to be close to Senate Candidate 5. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Senate Candidate 5 was very much a realistic candidate for the open Senate seat, but that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was getting “a lot of pressure” not to appoint Senate Candidate 5. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help ROD BLAGOJEVICH because ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat “some of this stuffs gotta start happening now . . .right now. . . and we gotta see it. You understand?”
ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A that “you gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybody’s listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?” ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D if there is “tangible political support (campaign contributions) like you’ve said, start showing us now.” Fundraiser A stated he will call Individual D on the phone to communicate ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s message. ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded that “I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to communicate the “urgency” of the situation to Individual D.
So it certainly seems clear that the governor believed Candidate 5 would play along — though that’s not proof that he was correct in that assumption.