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Final day impeachment trial roundup

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’ll post another thread once the prosecution begins making his final arguments…

* Gov’s pension safe, even if he’s booted

* The defense doesn’t rest: “Sen. Cullerton asked him to come down,” said Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero. “I don’t think he’s going down there to resign; I think he’s going to make his appeal to senators,” Guerrero said.

* Will Blagojevich cause last-minute mischief?: Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said that anything Blagojevich does will be well within his rights as governor, but that he doesn’t plan anything “grandiose.”

* Expect the unexpected: “He’s all about PR,” Radogno said. “He’s all about press releases. I mean that’s how he’s governed for the whole time that he’s been here.”

* Governor will finally speak to Senate: “Unfortunately, all the testimony was heard. The things we will consider, all that has taken place,” said Sen. James Clayborne, a Belleville Democrat. “He had to put on evidence.”

* Blagojevich and the Politics of Diversion: If you turned on a radio, a television or cracked open a newspaper earlier this week, there’s a good chance you caught Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. In an attempt to overshadow his own impeachment trial in the Illinois state legislature the governor went on a national media blitz. Blagojevich’s attempt to divert attention from controversy was not a new strategy. WBEZ’s Ben Calhoun reports that in less public ways, Blagojevich has been using similar tactics for years.

* Senate trial Day 3: Gov. wants to give closing statement: “He is entitled to a fair and thorough process,” said Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. The GOP objections provided a glimpse of partisan bickering in a trial where most lawmakers had said they wanted to avoid such fighting. “The trial shouldn’t be driven by a time schedule,” added state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. “It should be driven by the evidence.”

* Senate trial Day 3: fewer witnesses

* Is impeachment trial moving too fast?

* Context? Truth? In the end, it’s really your call

* Showdown In Senate: Governor To Speak At Trial

* The governor speaks

* Mr. Blagojevich Goes to Springfield

* Let gov have his say at impeachment trial

* The Governor’s Closing Argument

* Idiot governor takes center stage

* Senators wonder what Gov. Rod will say

* Rod Blagojevich to inject new drama at impeachment trial

* Bernard Schoenburg: What will he do? With Blagojevich, nobody knows

* Hey, Rod: After you’re ousted, need lift home?


  1. - Concerned Observer - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:07 am:

    The phrase “well within his rights as Governor” scares the bejeezus out of me.

  2. - Excessively rabid - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:21 am:

    Seems to me that once an elected official is impeached, he or she should be in effect suspended: in pay status, but relieved of duty and powers of the office pending the outcome of the impeachment trial. Normally this should not be an issue, but really, no one normal is likely to be facing an impeachment trial, Andrew Johnson possibly excepted.

  3. - Hmmm - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:23 am:

    I wonder if Blagojevich answered today’s CNN poll:
    “Are you worried about losing your job?”

  4. - Anon from BB - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:25 am:

    He tries to put forth an executive order dissolving the legislature, thereby nullifying any vote taken and allowing him to stay in office.

    It’s not in his rights as governor, but when has that ever stopped him?

  5. - Mayor Daniel M. Lightner - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:32 am:

    Since all evidence will have been heard at that point, I think poetic justice almost requires our Senators to vacate the chambers prior to the Governor’s closing argument.

  6. - Deep South - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:32 am:

    Nice Sun-Times piece about how the Gov. will get home. LOL

  7. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:33 am:

    I think he tries to delay the proceedings so that the final vote doesn’t take place until tomorrow. He’ll try to start late, taking more time than allowed - something. Then he uses the 90 min to hint at what damage he can do to as many senators as possible. He then hits the airwaves for one more round while he hopes that the worried senators mull their options before casting their votes on friday. No doubt, he will do something unexpected - his history demands it.

  8. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:33 am:

    Andrew Johnson was anything but normal and was probably more corrupt than Rod.

  9. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:33 am:

    Suggestion to Senate: Change the rules to allow time for the Governor to answer questions, if he so desires, after his closing. He was so eager for questions in NY on Monday and Tuesday, it only seems fair.

  10. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:35 am:


    Who cares?

  11. - Prairie Sage - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Who is going to drive the former Governor home from Springfield if he can’t take the plane? Will we have an OJ-style helicopter chase up I-55? Maybe he’ll stop at the Dixie Truck Stop and play Jailhouse Rock on the jukebox.

    Actually, it would be a classy thing for Quinn to let him take the plane home, but I’m so mad at Rod I prefer the former.

  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:43 am:

    He will announce that by executive order he will immediately abolish the legislature and declare martial law? : -)

  13. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:43 am:

    ===Nice Sun-Times piece about how the Gov. will get home. LOL ===

    I 100% agree. I especially like the part about Michael Richards playing Blagojevich. Sure it doesn’t sound right at first, but when you think about it, Kramer and Blagojevich did have a few similarities - always scheming some plot, jittery, etc… Question then is who is Blagojevich’s equivalent to Newman?

  14. - PPHS - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:43 am:

    Does he lose the security detail immediately and is that spelled out in the impeachment rules?

  15. - John Bambenek - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:48 am:

    They’ll make sure he gets home and then they’ll move on.

  16. - You Go Boy - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    Does anyone know if this will be televised on cable? MSNBC, perhaps?
    Take the time to read an above post from Phil Kadner “Idiot Governor takes center stage” - Superbly on target.
    I hope when the final gavel falls on Blago, no one says “This is a sad day for Illinois”…BS! This is a Great Day for Illinois, only 5-6 years too late.

  17. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:59 am:

    It’s great that he will now address the Senate. The Governor’s consistent inconsistency of this entire episode has been fun to watch. For him to come before the Senate (whether invited or at his request) fits right into all of his TV statements that on he was boycotting the proceedings. It seems it just does not matter what he says on any particular day. The game plan simply changes as needed. I would like to think there is at least some double secret game plan behind the scene driving all his action, even though he comes across as making it up as he goes along. There will likely be some nervous Senators over what he may say today. That’s fine. Let ‘em sweat a lot. Get this event over and move on. There are too many major problems effecting far too many people to spend more time on this issue. The outcome may truely be pre-ordained, but Rod has been given plenty of opportunity to be a part of this. Since he feels talking with Joy Behar was more important than being in Springfield to defend himself, he made his choice. I would have rather seen him and his counsel sitting in those front seats in the Senate during all the testimony. That would be great TV and far more fitting for someone who claims he will ‘fight, fight, fight’. The TV tour showed a self proclaimed fighter who would rather have a press pop and avoid a direct confrontation with capable opponents. He lost his place in the MMA card of politics. Time to go home.

  18. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:10 am:

    Bill, but the law Johnson was impeached for violating was clearly unconstitutional

  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:13 am:

    Try CNN. I have the best luck with that one. WGN radio announced they will broadcast Blagojevich live when he is called.

  20. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    Johnson was impeached because he didn’t want to go along with the excesses of Reconstruction brought by the self-proclaimed Radical Republicans. What corruption are you referring to, Bill?

    And when you say he was more corrupt than Rod, what corruption of Blago’s are you referring?

  21. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    The question was asked:
    “Is impeachment trial moving too fast?”

    …The evidence was collected and debated and disseminated by the House. That took a month or so.

    …The Senate met for throughout December and January to develop the rules for the trial. These were public meetings at which anyone could attend, including the Governor and/or his attorneys, representatives, allies, etc.

    …Finally, the Senate trial would have lasted longer had the Governor or his attorneys called their own witnesses, submitted their own exhibits and evidence and read that material into the record and been present to cross-examine witnesses.

    It’s going quickly in large part because the Governor and his counsel chose to be absent and not mount a logical defense.

  22. - 312 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:41 am:

    just saw GRod entering the building on CNN - he’s again showinging the “can’t call witnesses” card & dropping names (Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Reid, Senator Cullerton).

    someone asked if he was “sad” - which did make him stop walking & start to talk to the press.

    Can’t wait for the center ring of the Circus to begin!

  23. - Blago Sphere - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    I don’t want to pee in everyone’s Cheerios this morning, but none the less, here’s my initial two cents, which is worth everything you have paid for it.

    Never having voted for him; I could never be confused as a supporter of his. Never having been the direct target of his politics, or his governance, I can’t say that I feel personally victimized by him either.

    With that perspective in mind, perhaps that will explain why my sense of disappointment may not be as profound as that of others who initially believed in him and now feel let down.I simply had low expectations to begin with and I was not completely surprised by some of what transpired either. I actually expected some of it to unfold as it did. I was not a vociferous opponent of his either, or an active participant with a vested interest and anything to lose personally, so perhaps this allows me to be a little more objective.

    Given the circumstances of the day however; I can’t help but to feel a certain sense of sadness, mostly for the reputation of the state where I was born and raised and which has been my only home now for decades. It’s also the home for millions of other hard working loyal citizens that never wanted much from their government other than honest leadership and some basic services delivered efficiently and fairly at a reasonable cost. It is for all of those people that I feel the greatest sadness, because they have not only been disappointed and let down, but they have also been abused in the process, and continually allowed themselves to be victimized by the system that was purportedly designed of the people, by the people, for the people, in order to serve them.

    The blame for this does not fall solely on the shoulders of the Governor, and there is pletny of blame to go around. It should not fall all on one political party, or any one group of people. The members of the 4th estate, and the voters themselves should not get a free pass here either. We are all to blame in some way, and collectively we can all do better. Unfortunately in the past we have instead remained passive and ceded power to those that simply took us all for granted, and did not have our best interests at heart. They manipulated the system against us and took advantage of us and will continue to do so until we refuse to tolerate it any longer and regain the power that is collectively ours.

    If the Governor is convicted and removed from office; which I believe he should be and will be however, I take no personal sense of vindictive satisfaction. For those that do because they have been personally harmed or effected, I can’t walk in your shoes. The only thing I can say is that if we all don’t find a way to collectively rise above it, then we will simply lower ourselves down to it, and perpetuate the petty partisanship and clanish fiefdoms of power that have plagued us all for far too long.

    As a result; my hope is that for anyone that feels some overwhelming sense of joy at what is about to occur, that they instead recognize that this pleasure is just as perverse as what has been inflicted upon us and will only result in continuing the problems rather than allowing us to find the solutions.

    The only thing we should take joy in today, is that our form of government has not been so compromised by our ceding so much power to others that we can still enjoy a peaceful transition of power at the top.

    Instead of simply vindictively cheering on punishment to others for what has taken place in the past, lets instead look to the future with a sense of hope and guarded optimism that instead we can change this system for the betterment of everyone involved. Let’s do so actively however and not passively by getting involved or staying involved for the right reasons rather than the personal benefits, and by putting politics aside immediately after the elections and governing fairly rather than punitively.

    Unfortunately, I am afriad that this peaceful transition of power today will only mark a new beginning of the next campaign. I am afraid that any actions taken to right the system will simply be window dressing for those that seek political cover for their active role in past transgressions.

    The only way we can gain any sense of reassurance today; will be if at the conclusion of the proceedings, the Senators move directly to debate the verdict without going to partisan caucus. If a partisan caucus is required prior to the debate then you will know the sad truth that the only change you may actually see is that which is jingling in your pocket.

  24. - Carbon Deforestation - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 12:28 pm:

    Ben Calhoun’s piece on WBEZ about The Politics of Diversion was terrific. Kudos to him for a great dissection of the tactic!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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