January 9th, 2009
11:53 AM ET
6 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. Mari

    YES...... throw the bum out Illinois!

    January 9, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Paul

    A little late, of course he should be impeached.

    By the way Maggie, what about the genocide by Saddam Hussein and his sons, not to mention his torture chambers? Also remember there were Al Qaida training camps in Iraq. George is a hero for stopping all that.

    January 9, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. George Bush

    It looks like the Democrats got to impeach someone after all.

    January 9, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. pam Eugene OR

    Get it done then put him in jail with Bush

    January 9, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. cocoa

    We should not be so hard on Blago ,he has not been convicted of anything,what happen to" innocent till provening guality"
    Blago,have not done anythings that another politicans have not done. my question is why the hurry?
    Houston Texas!

    January 9, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Toby in Illinois

    First of all, let me say that as a registered Democrat in 2006 I voted Green because I didn't want see to Blagojevich or any of the state-level Democratic candidates keeping power, and I definitely didn't want us to go back to the Republicans already in jail. That said, I believe that if you look below the surface in most states (not, of course, your state, dear reader), you'll see enough corruption to disgust you. Perhaps it's time we all started turning to third, fourth, and fifth parties.

    January 9, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. jrzshor

    here is what they said in private

    " we need to impeach him 'cause he will take us all down. he knows where the bodies are. if he is gone then we can deny everything because he is a disgruntled former employee. and the upside is, we will look good because we took care of a corrupt (unlike us, he got caught) politician

    WIN, WIN

    January 9, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Gitmo torture prison is being moved to Afghanistan....

    January 9, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Pablo

    Innocent until proven guilty, I'm sorry but that is in the US CONSTITUTION!

    It seems that on a great variety of issues we have forgotten the constitution.
    Objectively speaking, He should not be impeached under "allegations"
    Subjectively speaking I think he's guilty of trying to sell the seat, but again let him have his day in court
    This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, not some other country.

    January 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. AnaB

    The bum needs to go!

    January 9, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Linda K.

    I'm with you, Maggie, but unfortunately the US Congress is less on the ball than the state of Illinois. Talk to Nancy Pelosi. She's the one who said impeachment was off the table, and she repeatedly blocked it.

    January 9, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Bob

    At least the Illlinois Legislature has something going for it. Now, if we could get an actual prosecutor other than Fitzgerald, the cook might actually serve some time.

    January 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. nita

    I don't understand why he is still working. If he was arrested on felony charges for trying to sell Barack's senate seat, he should not have been able to go back to his job until after he went to court, yes, innocent until proven guilty, but, this is what is happening to the U.S. The government has kept Bush after all he has done, do we honestly have to keep these kind of people working for us until they ruin the whole state, I am from Ca. and look at what has happened here.

    January 9, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. kelly WI

    Of course Burris would say they is no quid pro guo.
    Blago did it to really stick it to the dems.
    I thought Ob and Reid were supposed to be constition experts. That is why they flipped after their initial "no way Burris" statements. Some one must have taught them a thing or two. Besides that Rush, the fomer black panther, brought in the race card and the dems didn't want that.
    Why isn't everyone screaming about Madow like they did Ken Lay? He was much worse. Oh, thats right, Madow is a dem.

    January 9, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Meh

    Pablo> He does not need to have broken the law to be impeached. It's a commission, not a court of law. If they feel he is unfit to govern, they have the right to unseat him. Period.

    January 9, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. legal in nc

    For all of you slinging mud at this governor let me ask, "How many of you would take losing your job to allegations about something you may have had intentions of doing but never did?"

    My feeling on that is you wouldn't enjoy it nor would you take it laying down, you would fight to the end. What makes you so much better than Blago?

    "Inspect yourself before you EXPECT from others"

    January 9, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Meh

    Paul> Al Quada has expanded their operations since we went into Iraq. Bush hasn't put a stop to ANYthing. More like, we shook a hive of bees.

    January 9, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Khelley

    @ Maggie
    You seem to grasp things too much by their surfaces. The Iraq war girl, is a complicated issue, just leave it alone and out of your topics of conversion. Now you would have wanted Bush impeached, don't you?
    Won't you agree that it is easier to impeach the elephant than the lion? Let me tell you a story, " It was the cat's birthday and all the mice in the neighborhood planned a feast for Cat, you know, to earn his frienship so he would stop eating mice. . They made a pretty neckless and a crown to present to Cat as gifts. As the adult mice were conferring on the event, there came a baby mouse who wanted to share his opinion. But they shut him up and warned him to stay away when Mr. Cat comes. He persisted again to speak, and once again they shut him up, sending him to his room. He came back out and still insisted to speak. Finally, one adult mouse said, okay say what you wanna say and then go to sleep. The baby said, I see you all preparing a feast for Cat and you made a crown and necklace for him, but bear I ask which one of you all here will go and crown and put the necklace on Him?" All the adult mice remained quiet. The rest of the story is not relevant. Do you understand, Hmm Maggie?

    January 9, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. DE

    Illinois already started cleaning up and throwing out the crooked politicians. Unfortunately, we elected him President.

    January 9, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Super D

    I like Blago.

    He makes the DEMS uncomfortable.

    He does know where all the bodies are.

    January 9, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. MikeH

    Impeached for dishonoring the office of Governor. But any conviction for an actual crime is in doubt. Stay tuned for the superficial circus.

    Meanwhile, why did CNN only allow 114 posts on Palin vis Couric and Fey. After seeing clips from the Pajama Network "interview" played on Rachel Maddow's and Kieth Olberman's shows, it's obvious this ticker could have gone to over 400 posts on how ignorant, dishonest, and just plain stupid Sarah is. E.G. "I didn't actually see the interview, but it was inaccurate".

    That plus CNN won't allow any posts on Sarah's involvement with delaying the arrest of Levi's mom Sherry for drug dealing. Who in CNN is manipulating the news?

    January 9, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. John in Ohio

    im peach ment 
    2. (in Congress or a state legislature) the presentation of formal charges against a public official by the lower house, trial to be before the upper house.

    im·peach
    To charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal.

    An impeachment is not a conviction. It is the start of the process. Which, incidentally is why we should have impeached and tried Bush II a long time ago. But it's also why Blago should be impeached.

    January 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Matt

    @ Paul

    Ends justify the means, huh? I suppose you're right: initiating an unjustified war on false pretenses, torturing prisoners, abusing human rights, violating and lessening our Constitutional rights, abusing executive power, destabilizing the entire Middle East, destroying our international reputation, respect and leverage and providing terrorist organizations with a whole new generation of angry, disaffected young men whose families and homeland have been destroyed...that was all worth it so long as we got to hang Saddam. I'm so glad you pointed this all out. I feel like a weight has been lifted...

    January 9, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Matt

    @ Maggie

    This is the Illinois State Congress, not the United States Congress, so they can't impeach Bush. However, I'll grant you that as backwards as it might seem, the Illinois State Congress seems to have a little bit better clue as to what justifies impeachment. Go figure.

    January 9, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. richard rohde

    Amazing the way the dumbocrats can turn this in to a Bush bashing isn't it ? Some real sickies post here.

    January 9, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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