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. My Friends, let me tell you

    Rods a nice guy.He was just conducting business as usual,the way both republicans and Democrats have done it for years.He just got caught.The Congress would be down to less than a dozen people if they were all exposed.

    January 9, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Former Chicagoan

    The governor thinks this process is unfair? What's unfair is Blago trying to SELL a Senate seat for personal gain. The people of Illinois deserve better and I hope they get it....and soon.

    January 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Joeygirl

    These "dumbcrats" have a reason to be pissed off at the injustice in our country, however the reason Bush was was not impeached was because then we would have Cheney as president...and that is a bigger problem.

    January 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Meh

    richard rodhe> Are you refering to me? I'm not a Democrat (nor am I a "dumbocrat" as you so maturely put it).
    Sorry if the truth is "sick".

    January 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    They should turn Blago over to Cheney.......he would have him waterboarded and then we could get to the truth of the matter. While they're at it, maybe they could waterboard Cheney and finally get to the truth of the last eight years. No problem, right? Waterboarding is not torture, right?

    January 9, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. Jan

    My goodness, the Dems want to move fast before all of them come crashing down from Chicago. I say, let Blago have his say in Public–I like the guy–he does not appear to be a hypocrite and is way smarter than the rest of them. Heaven forbid the American people are privy to the rest of Chicago corruption. Not to worry, Obama rose above his scary background during the campaign–they won't let him go down now, whatever it takes.

    January 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. tom

    yes richard rohde, their manical hatred, which has been inflamed by the media for the last 8 years, is the causation for the incredible amount of disinformation that has been regurgitated time after time...louder and louder until it becomes their Holy Grail. (See Maggie, pam and john below).

    They can't even think straight enough to consider the fact that if there was anything any remotely "impeachable" that Harry Reid and the boys would be like a pack of hungry wolves (okay maybe rats is closer) and all over it.

    Unless they see it as another right wing conspiracy....

    January 9, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Vicki5

    Then as far as I am concerned, the House better be prepared to impeach all public officials who have been accused of corruption. Next up, Coleman? Aren't there some others? Just because the prosecutor tried Blago's case in the media first, doesn't make his allegations worse than the others.

    January 9, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Blago has created a fiasco in Illinois and if he really wanted to do the "right" thing he would residng. But no he'd rather continue to prove he is not capable of doing the "right" thing for Illinois.

    January 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. obama-mama

    Uh oh, he's having a press conference @3p.m. today...He's telling on everybody....Ha ha ha ha...

    January 9, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Big D

    The vote was 114-1 in favor of impeachment. Who was the 1 dissenting vote and he/she should be investigated to see if there are any ties to Blago. This is quite and overwhelming majority, why would anyone vote against 114 other yes votes? I'm not saying guilty, but
    doesn't it make you wonder why?

    January 9, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. California Gold

    Oh Lord....the vote was 114 to 1 to impeach. This doesn't bode well for Blago. But of course, in true fashion Blago believes everyone is wrong, he is being maligned and he will be vindicated, despite all the tape recording evidence.

    January 9, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Mike Pittsburgh

    On what basis did you wish to impeach Bush? The "illegal" war? Unfortunately the Senate voted something like 90-10 to approve it, therefore it was hardly "illegal", like it or not.

    Making up evidence of Iraq and WMDs? Have at it. All you have to do is prove the evidence was falsified. You know, that's the key word here, "PROOF". Although I am not a Bush supporter, I can remember Mr. Clinton bombing Iraq during his impeachment hearings on the basis that Iraq had existing WMDs and WMD programs ... I could never resolve that bombing with the later claims that Bush should be impeached because there was no evidence Iraq had WMDs.

    Since the Bush bashers already have all the evidence they need in hand, this should have be a simple matter. As my dear departed Dad used to say, it is amazing how all the people who "know" everything about what is really happening in the government are busy cutting har and tending bar.

    January 9, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Gloria - Minnesota

    I hope the trial moves along quickly and this so-called Governor is convicted! I am very glad they impeached him; our nation doesn't need another corrupt official remaining in office!

    January 9, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Sue

    This is good. You democrats showing your real selves. If you kill all of yourselves off with this kind of thing, our country will be so much the better.

    January 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    Please also include the ones that allowed our electric bills to go up too. Thank you.

    January 9, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Cora Hornsby

    Nice to see the democraps eating one another. After they have all been eaten, we may have a great country again.

    January 9, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Fritz

    As someone from Illinois, I do not want Blago representing or leading our state any further. I do not think he can do so effectively.
    If he has something to say which will exonerate him, he should say it now. His earlier comments that the only time for him to talk were in a court of law were simply foolish.
    If he cannot say something to clear himself, I hope he has the good sense to step down.

    January 9, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. BB

    Come on Illinois – kick him out and let the others know they will get the boot too if they pull this kind of crap.

    January 9, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. deb in Colo

    I wonder what the ONE votes owes Blago for???

    January 9, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Pittsburgh Matt

    Gitmo torture isn't being moved to Afghanistan. It's been there for the last 8 years!

    January 9, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. amt

    he should be impreached as it went down, & we do nothing about Bush & Chaney just sit back & talk about it, but no action, why ?

    January 9, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Leslie, NY

    Great, kick his rear out of Illinois. Send him packing to the big house. Whew...what a relief. He's causing more trouble than he's worth. What a sleazebag. Congrats to Illionois for kicking him to the curb and stoping him from making the state the laughing stock of the country. Particularly at a time when you've given the country such a great president elect.

    Kudos, for doing the right thing–kicking Blagoboy OUT.

    January 9, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Thalia, NY

    Blago is having the last laugh. The very thing that the prosecutor wanted to prevent has happened. He appointed Burris and made Illinois a joke.

    What is taking the legislature so long. Kick that guy out and send Burris packing. What a joke.

    January 9, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Amazing Stuff

    He will be gone, guilty or not before the inauguration.. No dirty democratic laundry needed ..

    January 9, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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