Illinois lawmakers launch impeachment of governor

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois lawmakers approved an inquiry on Monday into whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich should be impeached in the wake of charges he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

The Illinois House of Representatives voted 113-0 to form a committee to determine whether that body should bring as yet undefined charges against him, which if approved would result in a trial in the state Senate and his possible removal from office.

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan -- like Obama and Blagojevich a Democrat -- told reporters in Springfield, the state capital, the charges might include "abuse of power."

"We are preparing for a trial in the (state) Senate" and will move with "all due speed," Madigan said, although he added the inquiry could take weeks.

Chicago defense attorney Edward Genson, after meeting with Blagojevich for a third day, told reporters on Monday night that the governor had no plans to resign.

"He's not stepping aside. He hasn't done anything wrong. We're going to fight this case," Genson said.

Blagojevich earlier went to work again at his Chicago office, signing several bills despite the growing demands that he resign -- and not make a Senate appointment.

The governor, 52, is accused of conspiracy to commit fraud and solicitation of bribes, based on conversations recorded on court-approved wiretaps. He has shown no willingness to resign his $177,000-a-year post.

Under current law, Blagojevich, whom federal prosecutors arrested last week, and charged with attempting to swap the Senate seat and political favors for cash and jobs, has sole power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies.

The Democratic-led Illinois House shelved a bill, backed by Republicans, to hold a special election in April to elect a new senator to replace Obama. The body then adjourned until January 12, leaving the 21-member impeachment committee to meet through the holidays, if necessary.

Jockeying for the Senate seat has taken on partisan overtones as Republicans see the election as an opening to flip a seat that had been expected to remain in Democratic hands.

Republicans objected vociferously to the move to postpone consideration of the election, with state Rep. William Black decrying it as "chicanery."

Democrats will hold 57 of the U.S. 100 Senate seats, with the Illinois seat vacant and the outcome of a Republican-held Minnesota Senate race still undecided.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat who would take over as governor if Blagojevich is removed, has offered several approaches to the Senate vacancy but said he would like to appoint a new senator as soon as possible, regardless of whether there is a special election.

OBAMA AGAIN DENIES ROLE

Obama's office issued a statement saying its review of contacts with Blagojevich confirmed that Obama had no direct communication with the governor and that Obama's advisers did not have "inappropriate" discussions with the governor's staff about filling the seat.

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said it asked for a delay in public release of the review's results so it could conduct interviews. The results will be released next week, Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said.

"There is nothing in the review that was presented to me that in any way contradicted my earlier statements that this appalling set of circumstances that we've seen arise had anything to do with my office," Obama told a news conference.

The controversy has been a distraction for Obama and his team as he announces Cabinet nominations and tries to lay out plans for dealing with the recession and other crises once he becomes president on January 20.

In the FBI affidavit recounting the charges against the governor, Blagojevich was overheard cursing with frustration that the Obama team would offer him only "appreciation" for naming a particular candidate to the Senate seat. Earlier, Blagojevich is quoted as saying he hoped to use his leverage to obtain an ambassadorship, a Cabinet post or a well-paid job.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, daughter of the House speaker and a potential candidate for governor in 2010, asked the state Supreme Court on Friday to remove Blagojevich from office on the grounds he was "disabled" and had paralyzed state government.

Lisa Madigan and other Illinois officials said on Monday a $1.4 billion debt issue that was delayed last week would go ahead on Tuesday, after warning that a $4.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills was mounting and could halt food service to state prisons, close nursing homes and prevent state police from buying gas.

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An Afghan interpreter who helped save then-Sen. Joe Biden's life in 2008 was among those stranded in Afghanistan after Biden's troop withdrawal. He has now escaped the country with his family, but not with President Biden's help.

Thanks to private organizations, including The Nazarene Fund, the interpreter and his family have now been rescued.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck share the details:

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A shocking new report by The Daily Wire reveals that the furious father whose arrest at a school board meeting likely sparked the call for the FBI to investigate anti-CRT parents like domestic terrorists was furious for good reasons: The Loudoun County School Board allegedly tried to cover up his daughter's rape.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss the incident and explain why he joined 60 lawmakers in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers for why the FBI is targeting parents.

"We want to know ... what kind of coordination took place between the White House, activist groups and teachers unions, and the Department of Justice," Stewart told Glenn. "Because we have evidence that there was [coordination] and, in fact, that the White House are the ones who initiated this. They asked for these activist groups to write this inflammatory letter to the Department of Justice saying they were 'intimidated' and that they 'felt threatened', giving the Department of Justice Attorney General Garland, the excuse to say, 'Okay, well, we have to respond'."

Stewart went on to say he believes the federal government would only involve the FBI in such an issue if its purpose is to silence and intimidate parents concerned about the "poison" being taught to their kids in school. So, what can he and the other representatives who disagree with the Biden administration's overreach of power do to stop it?

Watch the video clip below to hear Stewart explain:

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Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is now warning that his nation is preparing for war with China after Beijing flew a record number of warplanes over Taiwanese territory. Wu reached out to another country for help, but it wasn't the United States.

In a video, Wu urged Australia to help prepare for a possible invasion, but gave the U.S. no mention.

"The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that. And if China is going to launch a war against Taiwan, we will fight until the end. And that is our commitment. And, of course, during this period of time, we would like to exchange with other countries for security cooperation," Wu said on ABC News In-depth's China Tonight program. "We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so that Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation. And so far, our relations with Australia is very good. And that is what we appreciate it for."

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere discussed whether or not America would do anything during such a conflict — because it sure seems like President Joe Biden is more focused on working with China to fight climate change. Plus, why did China just cut off all cryptocurrency?

Watch the video clip below to catch the conversation:

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On "Glenn TV" tonight, Glenn Beck heads to the chalkboard to reveal how the fundamental transformation of America has already begun by turning the Declaration of Independence upside down.

If Donald Trump was a dictator, then what do we call President Biden? In Biden's first nine months in office, he has already issued 64 executive orders – that's more than Trump, Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan each issued in their entire first years in office.

You never hear the Left talk about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights any more, unless it's to "reimagine" the Constitution or slap a "harmful content" warning on our founding documents. Seriously. The National Archives said while its website label wasn't targeting the Constitution specifically, "some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions." The Left finds basic, guaranteed rights so offensive they now spend all of their time on workarounds to deal with America's annoying founding documents.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below to see Glenn outline the aggressive unconstitutional abuses "King Biden" is jamming down our throats and teaches Americans how we can defend against presidential tyranny.

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