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Published:January 23rd, 2009 16:45 EST
rod blagojevich

Blago: Senate Impeachment Trial A Sham

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday described as `a sham` a coming state Senate impeachment trial that is likely to result in his ouster from office within a few weeks.

The governor, who was arrested in December on federal corruption charges, missed a deadline Tuesday to file a motion to dismiss the impeachment charges. On Wednesday, he missed a deadline to request witnesses, documents or other materials to use in his defense in Springfield, the state capital.

The Illinois House voted to impeach the governor earlier this month, setting the stage for a Senate tribunal that begins Monday.

His failure to respond to the impeachment charges means the Senate will proceed as if he entered a plea of not guilty."

DAVID KESMODEL and DOUGLAS BELKIN/Wall Street Journal

Blago has a slew of corruption charges hanging over his mop top, the most egregious accusation leveled against him is that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Blago vehemently denies that he is guilty of any ethical misconduct, but he`s yet to refute the charges against him point by point.

Blago may very well be not guilty of violating the law, so far we have only heard excerpts of taped conversation released by the federal prosecutors. You can`t be convicted by a few snippets of hundreds of hours of secretly taped conversations. Blago will have his day in court, and he will be afforded an opportunity to clear his name.

But the tapes do reveal that Blago is unqualified to be the governor of Illinois, the picture that emerges from those tapes is of a petty man with a dirty mouth who has a cavalier attitude about the finer points of the law.

Blago is unqualified and unable to serve the people of Illinois, fighting the corruption charges takes up all his time and energy. He should graciously step down, and allow the Lieutenant Governor to take over.

But Blago isn`t noted for his graciousness, and he is treating the upcoming Senate impeachment trial as a sham. He is not requesting witnesses or participating in any other way in his defense.

Blago isn`t an idiot, he knows that it`s a foregone conclusion that he will be removed from office. He isn`t going to participate in what he regards as a kangaroo court, and he will leave office with his head held high.

Blago may not be an idiot, but he isn`t living in the same world as the rest of us. I hope he gets a good lawyer to help him with the over zealous prosecutors who want to make mincemeat out of him, and I pray he seeks psychiatric help.