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Illinois Dem. Gov. Blagojevich is Impeached 114-1

The Rover

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The Illinois House has impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich, directing the Senate to put the state's 40th chief executive on trial with the goal of removing him from office.

Because a new General Assembly will be inaugurated next Wednesday to reflect the outcome of the Nov. 4 elections, Madigan said newly sworn-in House members will re-vote that day on the impeachment resolution to formally send it to the Senate for trial.

A Blagojevich spokesman said the governor will not resign. A 2 p.m. news conference with the governor is scheduled for the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

On Thursday, after the House investigation's panel recommended Blagojevich’s impeachment, the governor said he looked forward to a trial in the Senate, presided over by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, and “believes the outcome will be much different” from the House action.

The actions of the House--approving an article of impeachment maintaining Blagojevich had committed abuses of power--represents the equivalent of an indictment.

Members of the panel opted to move ahead with their recommendation even though they did not get to hear edited recordings of Blagojevich obtained by federal agents in their investigation of the governor. Though U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald asked a federal judge to release the tapes to the panel, the move was fought by Blagojevich's attorneys and a decision was put off until at least Jan. 23. If the tapes are released, they could become part of a Senate trial.

As the impeachment panel conducted its vote, Rep. Bill Black (R-Danville) said he did not view the committee's actions in the downcast way that other members did.

"I don't think it's a sad day for Illinois," Black said. "I think it's a good, glad, happy day for Illinois because it points out that nobody is above the law and everybody will be held accountable for their actions."

Next week, when the Senate convenes, it will begin the process of setting up a trial of the governor in which each of the 59 state senators act as judge and jurors.

A total of 40 senators are needed to convict Blagojevich which would remove the governor from office and make Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn the state’s new chief executive. A trial is expected to take at least three weeks.

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Milt Patterson voted no. Unless Milt Patterson is his sister-in-law, you'd be quite wrong.

Whoops, I was referring to the second House vote, the Illinois House again voted after new members were sworn in (117-1) and in that vote the one who voted no was Deb Mell his sister-in-law, to clarify my past post.


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