January 9th, 2009
11:53 AM ET
5 years ago

Illinois governor impeached; trial next step

A committee of Illinois legislators heard testimony from Roland Burris Thursday.
A committee of Illinois legislators heard testimony from Roland Burris Thursday.

(CNN) – Illinois lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich for what they call his abuse of power and mismanagement of the state.

The impeachment resolution needed just a simple majority to pass, but when it was all over the House voted 114 to 1 in favor of the measure. Now the action will move to the state Senate, which will try the case and decide whether to remove Blagojevich from office.

Blagojevich was arrested on December 9, one month ago today, after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he tried to sell the Senate seat formerly held by President-elect Barack Obama.

Today's vote comes one day after a legislative committee unanimously recommended impeaching the governor amid corruption  allegations.

The governor issued a statement after committee's vote, criticizing the  proceedings and vote as unfair and biased. Blagojevich continues to proclaim his innocence against all allegations.

If Blagojevich is removed from office, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, would take over the top spot as governor.

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Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    BOOT him, and QUICK!

    January 9, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. obama-mama

    This will be interesting. I'm sure he won't go down without a fight. Let me get the popcorn ready.....

    January 9, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    Blago should be run out of town on a rail. Although I'm a lifelong Illinois Democrat, he is the worst governor in my lifetime (57 years). He should be impeached, then Fitzgerald should indict him, try him, and put him in jail 'till his kids are grown up.

    January 9, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Tiff of lithia springs

    Good!!! The sooner we crack down on corrupt politicians the better.

    January 9, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Larry in Houston TX

    It's about time ! especially after hearing those awful tape recordings !
    He should be ashamed of himself.

    January 9, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. stop buying corporate products!

    walk away from your upside down mortgages now!

    start growing your own food!

    stop betting against yourself by investing in wall street!

    you will be free from the grips of the 400 families

    who own most of the nation's wealth and

    thereby own you, your children, and your grandchildren as their slaves!

    January 9, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. kevin

    i think this would be best for Rod Blagojevich, he has destroyed his own political career, and has tried to ruin Obama's rep. so he most definitely needs to be impeached

    January 9, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. Rhino

    This guy needs not only to be impeached, but to be banished.

    January 9, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. Maggie

    So... let me get this straight ... they're willing to impeach a governor who allegedly tried to sell a Senate seat (got to use the word allegedly until the jury votes on it, right?) but they won't impeach a president who pushed the US into an illegal war where war crimes were committed.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    January 9, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Larry

    DO IT,stop talking about it,I don't think the government can,or they would have by now.

    January 9, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Garrison

    If he's guilty, good!!!! What is taking this so long? Just get it all in court, then figure ot if he's guilty, then kick him out or let him stay accordingly! We are so tired of hearing about this nonsense!

    January 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. email4kh

    NOW they're gonna impeach him?!?!
    If they'd done it ten days ago, the Lt. Governor, acting as Governor, could have re-appointed Burris to the Senate seat and he'd have been seated already.
    Way to go, Illinois legislature.

    January 9, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. John in Ohio

    Throw the bum out.

    January 9, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Brian From Fort Mill, SC

    Two things should happen:
    1. Blagojevich should be impeached and convicted.
    2. He should give Burris his money back.

    January 9, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. ga.

    impeach him.

    January 9, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Sandy Denney

    Just look at the democrats destroying each other. This IL bunch is laughable just like the president elect. Why can't IL wait until the gov has been at least indicted by the prosecutor? For goodness sake, the man has not been shown to have committed any wrong yet...

    January 9, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Laverne

    To Maggie: I am with you. Not that Blago does not need and deserve to be impeached, but how this could happen and a president who sent Americans into harms way for the wrong reasons not be impeached is beyond me. Clinton was impeached for a moral issue and not Bush. Something is very wrong with this picture. Oh well, the good old DOUBLE STANDARD lives on.

    January 9, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. wow

    @ Maggie,
    Your comment is what is called selective judgement in English. You are absolutely right

    January 9, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. KJL

    The only surprising thing about that headline is the word "possible."

    January 9, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. GA Independent

    About time. Go faster.

    Maggie – the problem is that "They" are two different government bodies – it's the US Congress that refused to impeach Bush. It's the Illinois Legislature that is ditzing around with Blago... Tho it does look as if the Illinois Legislature is finally developing some guts unlikes Congress.

    January 9, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. boered1

    email4kh you represent what is wrong with the blogs and peoples commesnts on them let me explain. IMPEACHMENT is basically a trial it does NOT promise removal, therefore even if they had voted to impeach last month Blagojevich would STILL be the governor and would still ahve the right and responsibility to appoint a successor to the vacant senate seat. Like he set the date for the vacant house seat special election and signs the paychecks of all the state workers (not actually but his signature does appear on them) and calls out the state militia national guard if/when there is a disaster etc in other words he still performs ALL duties as governonr until the actual date that his term ends. Due to the severity and possible consequences of removing a state official I doubt that the impeachment proceedings will take less than a month once they get started. Basically people comment when they ahve no ideas of the facts and laws but simply want to join the mob and hang the guilty party who needs a trial! It is this type of thought that got us Gitmo and the situation we ahve there we are jsut applying it to an single individual instead of a group (he was accused therefore he is guilty and should be punished!@)

    idiots

    January 9, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. chuck

    This guy is a Democrat on paper and a Republican by trade and actions.

    January 9, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Steph

    Hurry! Impeach him already. Then toss him in jail.

    January 9, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Khelley

    What does he mean he's innocent? Aren't there factual proofs of his voice recorded making the statements he is accused of? Or is he implying of conspiracy against him? Does he feel guilty of saying them, but innocent for having not had time to carry them out? In this case why does the law punish people for attempt murder when they were yet to commit it? It seems like the same thing to me. If people will agree that preventing a crime is better than letting it be committed, then crime prevention calls for the eradication of all factors including objects, animals, and people demonstrating the intention of committing the crime. If everyone agrees with the above analysis, therefore, if Blagojevich really said what he was recorded saying, then, by all justice, he must be impeached. If not, then, we will make a fool out the law and out of ourselves. Are we worth of being a society?

    January 9, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    He is shameless. Impeach him now and start the cleanup of politics in IL He is very tainted and the good people should demand so much better.

    January 9, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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