Who's Who In The Blagojevich Impeachment Saga

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's job is at stake as he faces a Senate impeachment trial that could boot him from office. Here are some of the key figures in the trial:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH

First elected governor in 2002, Blagojevich was charged last month with scheming to sell President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat for high paying jobs or campaign contributions.

The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him on charges that he abused his executive power. If convicted by the Senate, Blagojevich would be removed from office and perhaps barred from ever holding public office. He denies any wrongdoing and argues the Senate won't give him a fair trial.

DAVID ELLIS

Ellis is the House-appointed prosecutor in the impeachment trial and will present the evidence against Blagojevich. He was lead lawyer for the House committee that investigated the governor's conduct and wound up recommending impeachment.

Ellis is also chief counsel to House Speaker Michael Madigan, Blagojevich's chief rival. Madigan and Blagojevich, fellow Democrats, have locked heads over the last two years in a dispute that has crippled the General Assembly.

THOMAS FITZGERALD

As Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Fitzgerald will preside over the impeachment trial. His power is limited, however, because senators can override his rulings throughout the trial. Fitzgerald was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2000 and was first elected to the bench in 1976.

While a Supreme Court judge, Fitzgerald won't be able to hold the trial to the same standards as one in his own court room. Requirements for evidence are lower than that in a regular trial because the impeachment is a political process.

EDWARD GENSON

Best known for successfully representing R. Kelly against child pornography charges, Genson is Blagojevich's criminal attorney. He represented Blagojevich during House impeachment hearings and complained throughout that the committee wouldn't give Blagojevich a fair shake.

Genson is refusing to participate in the Senate trial, saying its rules are unfair to the governor. He says he's not involved in Blagojevich's strategy on impeachment.

SAMUEL E. ADAM

Adam, another Blagojevich attorney, also took part in the House impeachment hearings but is boycotting the Senate trial. He is still involved in advising the governor on impeachment strategy, however.

Blagojevich used Adam to approach Roland Burris about whether the former Illinois attorney general would agree to replace President Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

JOHN CULLERTON

The newly elected Senate president replaces Emil Jones, who had been Blagojevich's closest ally. He has taken a firm line on the impeachment trial by overseeing rules that restrict the governor's defense and setting a brisk trial schedule.

Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, lives down the street from Blagojevich but has a better relationship with Madigan.

PATRICK QUINN

Quinn is the lieutenant governor and Blagojevich's running mate in two elections. He would become governor if the Senate convicts Blagojevich.

Quinn has a long history as a political gadfly and outsider, but he largely played the loyal soldier during his first term under Blagojevich. During the second term, however, he has publicly criticized Blagojevich, who no longer speaks to Quinn or assigns him any duties. Quinn has a lukewarm relationship with the General Assembly.

DANIEL CAIN

An FBI agent, Cain signed the federal complaint that led to Blagojevich's arrest. The complaint describes federal wiretaps that captured conversations in which Blagojevich schemed to sell a vacant senate seat, tried to get Chicago Tribune editorial writers fired and threatened to deny money for children's health care unless a hospital executive contributed to his campaign fund.

The impeachment prosecutor has asked the Cain testify, which would make him the only witness to offer firsthand information about the content of the recorded conversations.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 38406814 - wifr.com/a?a=38406814