Monday, January 12, 2009

Blagojevich to seat Senate that'll try him

From the Kafka files: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will swear in the state Senate, whose first order of business is whether to remove him from office.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, then senators will consider whether to try Blagojevich on articles of impeachment approved by the House last week, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

The 59 senators -- 37 Democrats and 22 Republicans -- will act as the jury in the first impeachment trial of an Illinois governor. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald will preside, while a special prosecutor will present the House's evidence. Blagojevich's defense team is likely to be led by criminal attorney Ed Genson. And, it will be televised.

"It's different from a criminal trial -- dramatically different," incoming state Senate President John Cullerton said. "You don't have the same protections, if you will, for a governor as a defendant as you do if there is a criminal charge."
Reports are that the Governor is confident that he might be acquitted by the state Senate, especially since the state Supreme Court Chief Justice will preside over the trial.

Of course there are those who feel differently about that. Just check out Rich Miller's syndicated column.

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