Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Illinois Legislature rushing to impeach Blago

No one wants Rod Blagojevich impeached more than I do. After reading the verbal viagra of Blago, reading the sheer shock of attempting or thinking of selling Obama's senate seat, the nerve to attempt to rescind the money to Children's Memorial Hospital because of no campaign contribution and the disgust of the Tollway scandal is enough for any Illinoisan to write, "Throw his A** OUT!!"

But I want the process to be legally right, not in haste, but right.

The Illinois Legislature has huge egg on its face. Frankly, they failed to do their job of stripping the powers of Blago, when they had the opportunity. Now that Blago has appointed a senator to the US Senate and did this with the full power of the governorship, impeaching Blago is first and foremost in Springfield, Illinois.

Members of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment panel say they will move forward despite the possibility that they might not get to hear federal wiretaps of the governor's conversations with aides and others.

The secrecy of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office is that he doesn’t leak. The press and punditry has always spun on woulda, coulda, shoulda with Fitzgerald involved and much of the time they ended up with egg on their faces.

So, thinking along this line, what does the Illinois Legislature have as far as hard proof against Blago? If he was such political poison, why have this body not moved much sooner in kicking him out? Which brings me to what kind of proof do they actually have, with exception of what we have read from the Fitzgerald criminal complaint? Also, the legislature has asked for the tapes and to interview some of the persons in this criminal complaint and Fitzgerald has said, "No". Fitzgerald does not care about the political ping-pong here; the only thing that matters is the potential criminal case. So, what does the legislature have to throw out Blago, which the public does not know about?

These are valid questions. Anyone living in Illinois just wants this circus to leave town, and I mean like yesterday, but don't go and impeach because you failed as a body to do your job and got caught with egg on your faces. Impeach with undeniable proof, evidence that Blago is guilty of more that snippets of verbal viagra in print and on unheard tapes.
Prosecutors have offered to provide the impeachment panel with a few minutes of four tapes, but Blagojevich's chief defense counsel, Edward M. Genson, wants all of the tapes released.

"We are not going to ask that one tape, or two tapes, or three tapes or four tapes be offered," Genson told Chief Judge James F. Holderman of U.S. District Court on Monday. "We are going to ask that all of them be offered."

I agree with Genson, here. It is easy to cut snippets of taped conversations and it becomes bigger than life. What we need to know is the full content and context of these conversations, because it may end up being something else. How can snippets of tapes, no persons to testify in the open, and a bunch of speculation be enough to impeach Blago?

My take, impeachment is weak, for right now. I would like to see or at least have the legislature listen to the full tapes, but that won't happen. Yes, the legislature can go ahead with impeachment, but Blago is lawyered up and he may have the law on his side in these proceedings. Maybe the legislature needs to wait for an eminent indictment to come down by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, which gives them all the power to impeach and remove Blago. Sure, everyone wants to move and impeach now, but look what happened to the grandstanding of IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan to remove Blagojevich from office, it was denied. Until the indictment comes down, and if the Illinois legislature does not have hard evidence, Blago just may have to continue as governor.


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