Archive for the ‘impeachment’ Category

Perjury? Senator Changes His Story Again

February 15, 2009

When a Senator keeps changing his story, that’s normal.  Unless it is perjury….

ByTribune reporters

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has changed his story again about what happened before ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to the Senate, and state Republican leaders said Saturday that they want an investigation into whether he perjured himself.

Burris gradually has acknowledged deeper contacts with Blagojevich allies after initially portraying himself as a surprise pick for the seat the former governor is accused of trying to sell. But Illinois House Republican leaders said they wonder whether Burris purposely deceived the public while under oath last month by not telling a House impeachment panel that Blagojevich’s brother asked for fundraising help before the disgraced ex-governor appointed him.

State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) said he would ask the now-dormant impeachment committee to refer the matter to Sangamon County State’s Atty. John Schmidt, a Republican, after learning about the revelations by Burris, a Democrat.

Burris acknowledged the discussions with the governor’s brother, Robert, in an affidavit the senator quietly filed Feb. 5 with the head of the committee. Burris said Robert Blagojevich called him three times seeking his fundraising assistance. In addition, Burris said he spoke with three other close associates of the governor and a labor leader with ties to the Blagojevich administration about being appointed to the Senate. Burris previously acknowledged only having spoken to one such friend.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate required that Burris testify fully and truthfully to the House impeachment committee in Springfield before agreeing to seat him. Many said Burris was tainted because he was Blagojevich’s pick after the governor was arrested and charged with corruption, including trying to sell that Senate seat for political or personal gain. Burris said he filed the recent affidavit after reading the transcripts of his sworn testimony and realizing his answers were incomplete.

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said the affidavit suggests Burris wants to be “very forthcoming.” She said the committee may reconvene soon to discuss a variety of follow-up matters.

The new affidavit—filed only after he was sworn in Jan. 15—could damage Burris’ credibility because it’s his third account of what happened behind the scenes preceding Blagojevich’s decision to pick him as President Barack Obama‘s Senate replacement.

Burris initially filed a Jan. 5 affidavit under oath to the special House panel saying his first contact was a Dec. 26 meeting with Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Jr., who asked whether Burris was interested in filling the vacancy. Previously, “there was not any contact between myself or any of my representatives with Governor Blagojevich or any of his representatives regarding my appointment to the United States Senate,” Burris said.

Under questioning Jan. 8, however, Durkin specifically asked Burris whether he spoke with Blagojevich’s brother as well as several other close Blagojevich associates, including chief of staff John Harris and advisers Doug Scofield, John Wyma and Lon Monk, about his interest in the Senate seat.

Read the rest:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca
l/chi-burris-blagojevich-fundraisifeb15,0,6
744920.story

http://salmonandgrits.wordpress.com/20
09/02/15/is-it-malingering/

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Blogoyevich Erased From Illinois Psyche; Refuses Suicide

January 30, 2009

Rod Blogoyevich took his last ride in the aircraft designated for the Governor of Illinois yesterday.  Just before he was removed as governor, the phone rang and he said, “I’ll tell you what. I’m not jumping out. Not for those people, no way. I don’t like heights.”

So ended one of the wild chaperts in Illinois and Chicago politics.

Today, at the state house in Illinois, Blago is just a bad memory.

A worker replaces ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's picture with that of Pat Quinn.

A worker replaces ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s picture with that of Pat Quinn.

Maybe Blago is dead meat as a politician and maybe he is just starting as an “American Idol” or celebrity.

He said to the media, “You’ll keep covering me if I have anything to say, won’t you?”

See the CNN report:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/01/30/blagojevich.gone/index.html

Related:
Blagojevich: Wacko, Pathological, Grandiose and Narcissistic: But Criminal?

Blago in “Victim TV Tour” Quotes MLK; But Transcript Quotes May Land Him in Jail

January 27, 2009

“You know, during times like this there’s a saying Dr. (Martin Luther) King had. ‘In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.’ It’s a very lonely period. When things like this happen, people tend to be afraid to talk to you,” Governor Rod Blagojevich said today on The Early Show on CBS.

“I have two little girls and they are hearing a lot of bad things about their Dad,” Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said this morning on the CBS morning show with Harry Smith.

I thought I could hear a judge shout, “Irrelevant. Overruled.”

This is day two of the “Blago Is The Victim” tour on TV.

On the Early Show on CBS this Tuesday the Illinois Governor said, “If present trends continue, I’ll be out of work in the not-too-distant future. I’m not delusional in terms of what my likelihood of success is to convince those senators to give me a fair trial.”

” … It’s more important than me. It’s about the people who twice elected me. You can’t throw a governor out without giving that governor a chance to show he did nothing wrong. That’s what they’re doing. It’s a dangerous precedent.

“But if you’re asking me do I see myself like a modern-day Frank Capra movie, and I’m the Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper character, a guy idealistically trying to do what’s right for people, fighting a system, and then be pushed back? Yeah, I see myself that way.”

Yesterday the Illinois Governor compared himself to Martin L. King, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Today Blago also quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. in his apparent effort to be more black and more sypathetic and more a victim.

Don’t expect Roland Burris, Oprah or Barack Obama to rush to his defense…..

Video:
http://vodpod.com/watch/1311348-blagojevich-
compares-himself-to-mlk-mandela-and-ghandi

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics
/2009/01/26/moos.blagojevich.blah.cnn

Related:
Governors Gone Wild: Paterson Cancels Swiss Ski Trip, Blago On TV, Arnold Stands Tall

From CBS:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/200
9/01/27/earlyshow/main4755190.shtml

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
1/26/blagojevich.tv/index.html

******

By ANDREA ZELINSKI, Associated Press Writer

A day after Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s loudly proclaimed his innocence during a media blitz, the governor’s more private words are to take center stage at his impeachment trial.

The state Senate was expected Tuesday to hear secretly made wiretaps of Blagojevich allegedly discussing how he could benefit from his appointment power.

Blagojevich never denied the remarks federal prosecutors attribute to him, but insists they were taken out of context and he did nothing illegal.

The impeachment trial — the first for a U.S. governor in more than 20 years — opened Monday with House-appointed prosecutor David Ellis telling senators he will show that Blagojevich “repeatedly and utterly abused the powers and privileges of his office.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090127/a
p_on_re_us/illinois_governor_impeachment

Blagoyevich Holds Press Conference Asking For Changes in Impeachment Rules, Support From Media

January 23, 2009

He’s impatient, eager and restless.  He’s innocent.

So he says.

He wants to call witnesses in his impeachment trial; which would seem a normal form of American due process.

But the Illinois Senate has crafted impeachment rules to put Governor Rod Blagojeech into a straightjacket, it seems.

Which is where he might belong.

But Blago is not yet indicted, mush less on trial.  He stands impeached: with is a non-judicial proceedure to remove him from the Governor’s office.

The AP Said: Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he’s boycotting his impeachment trial next week because the process is unfair, not because he’s being defiant.

At a news conference Friday, Blagojevich said his constitutional rights are being trampled under the Senate rules because he cannot call the witnesses that he wants at his impeachment trial.

But who is listening?  Not Blago’s lawyer.

“I never require a client to do what I say but I do require them to at least listen to what I say. … I wish the governor good luck and godspeed,” said prominent Chicago defense lawyer Ed Genson in brief remarks to reporters.

Genson told Blago to get a new lawyer yesterday.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich pauses as he presides over ... 
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.(Frank Polich/Reuters)

“Let’ give him a fair trial, then hang him,” Blagojevech said of himself, quoting some old Western movie.

In another of his classic, rambling news conferences, the impeached Governor of Illinois said he wanted to call White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as a witness, Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., and others.

He made a plea or a play for support from newspapers like the Chicago Tribune: newspapers he has maligned and tried to destroy in the past.

chicagotribune.com 

“The irony is stunning,” said Sheperd Smith on Fox News Channel.

Shepard Smith 20071115.jpg

Blago wants the right to challenge the charges and call witnesses.

But he never mentioned the core issue: his apparent effort to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

Related:
Guantanamo Terrorists Getting More Rights Than Blagoyevich, Judge Says

Fox News Channel report:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/22/bla
gojevich-compares-arrest-attack-pearl-harbor/

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01
/23/blagojevich.attorney/index.html

*****

Illinois‘ embattled but defiant governor turned to the history books to describe the emotional strain on him and his family, comparing his arrest last month to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Dec. 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States,” Gov. Rod Blagojevich told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. “It was a complete surprise, completely unexpected. And just like the United States prevailed in that, we’ll prevail in this.”

The two-term Democrat, speaking on a snowy sidewalk outside the office of one of his attorneys, said there was no chance he would resign before the start of his impeachment trial in the state Senate next week.

“I’m going to fight this to the very end,” he said.

But that fight, Blagojevich said, most likely won’t include his appearance at the trial, which is set to begin Monday. The governor, along with his lawyers, say the trial rules are unfair, in part because they bar him from calling witnesses who are likely to be called in any criminal corruption trial later.

“I’m not going to be a party to that process,” he said. “That would be a violation of my oath of office. That, to me, would be an impeachable offense.”

He said his decision came from what he called a “bigger principle,” which he said includes due process and the right to call witnesses.

“In some respects it’s an honor to fall on principle on behalf of the people,” he said.

Blagojevich, wearing a black leather jacket and gripping a blue legal folder, also accused legislators of “a rush to judgment,” saying they wanted him gone so they could pass tax legislation.

“The reason they’re doing this is because they can’t wait to get rid of me so they can raise taxes on the people of Illinois,” he said. “This is as much about a tax increases as it is about anything else.”

Blagojevich is accused of scheming to benefit from his power to name President Barack Obama‘s replacement in the U.S. Senate.

Speaking for more than 40 minutes on Chicago station WLS-AM, Blagojevich said he couldn’t discuss specifics of the federal corruption charges against him — but insisted he hasn’t done anything wrong.

“And it was, of course, part of a political process that is not that inconsistent with the way the process works,” he said.

The governor told the AP that with all the pressures on him, being the butt of jokes on late-night TV shows wasn’t among them. The governor said he has not seen any of the parodies and asked a reporter if they were any good.

“People can criticize and vilify, they can do skits on `Saturday Night Live‘ — I think that goes along with the territory,” he said. “But what I won’t do is cave in and sacrifice the people of Illinois and be party to some phony farce, some unconstitutional process that’s designed to remove me from office so these lawmakers can raise taxes on people.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who would become governor if Blagojevich resigns or is removed, told the AP Friday he has gotten no help from Blagojevich in preparing for that possibility, but that he’s up to the task of taking over.

Associated Press writer Deanna Bellandi in Chicago contributed to this report.

Blagojevich Impeached, Responds In Bizarre Press Conference

January 9, 2009

Governor Rod Blagojevich called a news conference in Illinois today after he was impeached by the State House of Representatives.

He gave an off the cuff monologue that seemed detached from the reality and the facts of his impeachment and federal corruption charges.

“I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing,” he said.

See a video:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/09/
blagojevich.impeachment/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

But it took him four or five pages full of words and five full minutes to say this…..
.
“The House action today was not a surprise. It was a foregone conclusion,” Blagojevich said at a news conference in Chicago. “From the very moment of my re-election, I’ve been engaged in a struggle with the House to try to get things done for people.

“The House’s action today, and the causes of the impeachment, are because I’ve done things to fight for families who are with me here today,” he added.
.
The Illinois House voted 114-1 to impeach Mr Blagojevich, although only 60 votes were needed for the motion to pass.

“It’s our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that’s become Illinois government,” said Jack D Franks, a Democratic representative.

Illinois’s State Senate will now try Mr Blagojevich. If found guilty, the governor will be forced out of office.

I’m no psychiatrist but Blagojevich looked and acted like a crazy man today — which shouldn’t help his friend Roland Burris who he appointed to the U.S. Senate….

Blago ended the news conference by quoting a poem from “Ulysses” by Lord Alfred Tennyson, ending with: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Ilinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says his impeachment was politically driven.

Ilinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says his impeachment was politically driven.

Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/09
/blagojevich.impeachment/index.html

Related:
Illinois: Thanks for “Nutjob New Year” (Blagoyevich, Rush, Burris)

****************

Illinois’ highest court on Friday validated the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, ruling that the Illinois secretary of state does not have to sign off on it.

Read the CNN Report:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
1/09/burris.senate/index.html

Roland Burris's appointment to the U.S. Senate is valid, the Illinois Supreme Court says.

Roland Burris’s appointment to the U.S. Senate is valid, the Illinois Supreme Court says.

Related:
http://garychapelhill.wordpress.com/2009/
01/07/obama-leaves-harry-in-the-lurch/