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Hes ready to talk!
Date: 2008/12/17 18:00 By: KatiePery Status: User  
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Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Wednesday he is ready to tell his side of the scandal to the people of Illinois and that he would do so no later than Thursday.

"I can't wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and, most importantly, the people of Illinois. That's who I'm dying to talk to," he said as he left his home Wednesday morning for a jog.

"There's a time and place for everything. That day will soon be here and you might know more about that today, maybe no later than tomorrow."

On Tuesday, an impeachment inquiry against Blagojevich hit a speed bump shortly after getting under way, with state lawmakers seeking guidance from federal prosecutors and postponing any real action until the governor's attorney arrives.

The attorney, Ed Genson, planned to attend Wednesday's meeting of a special Illinois House committee reviewing potential impeachment and may provide the first hint of the embattled Democratic governor's strategy.

The committee's chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, said Wednesday's meeting would focus on a review of the criminal case against Blagojevich and no witnesses would be called.

When asked if he would join his lawyer at the Capitol Wednesday, Blagojevich said he was "in good hands" with Genson being there. Asked about when he might talk, the governor was glib: "To quote Elvis, 'hang loose.' Now can I get a run in, do you think?"

Genson, a famously tough Chicago trial attorney, could signal that his legal team will participate fully in the committee's work by cross-examining witnesses and arguing Blagojevich's case. Or he could challenge the committee, perhaps arguing its review shouldn't go forward for some reason.

The impeachment committee met Tuesday for the first time but soon adjourned. Members didn't want to begin in earnest until the governor's lawyer could be present, Currie said.

Currie also said she's awaiting a response from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about whether the panel will be allowed to hear testimony from certain witnesses without compromising the federal corruption case against Blagojevich. She said she has no idea when Fitzgerald will reply.

The Illinois Senate also adjourned Tuesday without considering a plan to fill President-elect Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat through a special election. Republicans accused the Democratic majority of trying to hold onto the seat by denying the public a right to vote.

Blagojevich was arrested by FBI agents last week on charges that include scheming to appoint Obama's replacement based on who offered the governor the best political or financial deal.

The impeachment committee will recommend to the full House whether to move forward with impeachment. Members said Tuesday they will take the job seriously.

"Frontier justice will not prevail in this proceeding. A rush to judgment does not serve the people of the state well," said Currie, a Chicago Democrat.

Criminal charges aside, the committee will weigh other allegations against Blagojevich. Lawmakers have long accused the Chicago Democrat of abusing his power by spending money without legislative approval, defying legislative orders and denying lawmakers information they should receive.

The president-elect was pulled into the dispute Tuesday when Obama refused to say whether he supports a special election. Obama "punted" rather than take a position on a vital issue, the RNC said.

If a Democratic governor appoints Obama's replacement, the Senate seat is certain to stay in Democratic hands. Although Illinois is a solidly Democratic state, the public anger toward the Democratic governor means a GOP victory would not be out of the question.
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Hes ready to talk!
KatiePery 2008/12/17 18:00