Ever since the country’s founding, prosecutors, defense lawyers and juries have been trying to define the difference between criminality and political deal-making. They have never established a clear-cut line between the offensive and the illegal, and the hours of wiretapped conversations involving Mr. Blagojevich, filled with crass, profane talk about benefiting from the Senate vacancy, may fall into a legal gray area.

Though it’s worth keeping in mind that the criminal complaint is far from any final case that will be presented. In related news, Tony Rezko is negotiating to cooperate in the case.

Update: Former Blago fundraiser and adviser Chris Kelly pleads guilty.