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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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" to explain how mail-in ballots are typically disqualified during recounts at a far higher rate than in-person, Election Day ballots, and why this is "good news" for President Donald Trump's legal battle over the election.

"One of the things that gives the greatest cause for optimism is, this election ... there's a pretty marked disparity in terms of how the votes were distributed. On Election Day, with in-person voting, Donald Trump won a significant majority of the votes cast on in-person voting on Election Day. Of mail-in voting, Joe Biden won a significant majority of the votes cast early on mail-in voting," Cruz explained.

"Now, here's the good news: If you look historically to recounts, if you look historically to election litigation, the votes cast in person on Election Day tend to stand. It's sort of hard to screw that up. Those votes are generally legal, and they're not set aside. Mail-in votes historically have a much higher rate of rejection … when they're examined, there are a whole series of legal requirements that vary state by state, but mail-in votes consistently have a higher rate of rejection, which suggests that as these votes begin being examined and subjected to scrutiny, that you're going to see Joe Biden's vote tallies go down. That's a good thing," he added. "The challenge is, for President Trump to prevail, he's got to run the table. He's got to win, not just in one state but in several states. That makes it a lot harder to prevail in the litigation. I hope that he does so, but it is a real challenge and we shouldn't try to convince ourselves otherwise."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean is perhaps even more disgusted with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his coronavirus response than BlazeTV's Stu Burguiere (read what Stu has to say on the subject here), and for a good reason.

She lost both of her in-laws to COVID-19 in New York's nursing homes after Gov. Cuomo's infamous nursing home mandate, which Cuomo has since had scrubbed from the state's website and blamed everyone from the New York Post to nursing care workers to (every leftist's favorite scapegoat) President Donald Trump.

Janice joined Glenn and Stu on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday to ask why mainstream media is not holding Gov. Cuomo — who recently published a book about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic — accountable?

"I'm vocal because I have not seen the mainstream media ask these questions or demand accountability of their leaders. [Cuomo] really has been ruling with an iron fist, and every time he does get asked a question, he blames everybody else except the person that signed that order," Janice said.

"In my mind, he's profiting off the over 30 thousand New Yorkers, including my in-laws, that died by publishing a book on 'leadership' of New York," she added. "His order has helped kill thousands of relatives of New York state. And this is not political, Glenn. This is not about Republican or Democrat. My in-laws were registered Democrats. This is not about politics. This is about accountability for something that went wrong, and it's because of your [Cuomo's] leadership that we're put into this situation."

Watch the video excerpt from the show below:

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As America grows divided and afraid to disagree with the Democrats' woke plan for America, Megyn Kelly is ready to fight back for the truth. For nearly two decades, she navigated the volatile and broken world of the media. But as America leans on independent voices more than ever, she's breaking new ground with "The Megyn Kelly Show."

She joined the latest Glenn Beck Podcast to break down what's coming next after the election: Black Lives Matter is mainstream, leftists are making lists of Trump supporters, and the Hunter Biden scandal is on the back burner.

Megyn and Glenn reminisce about their cable news days (including her infamous run-in with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump) and to look into the chaotic and shady world of journalism and the growing entitlement it's bred. For example, many conservatives have been shocked by how Fox News handled the election.

Megyn defended Fox News, saying she believes Fox News' mission "is a good one," but also didn't hold back on hosts like Neil Cavuto, who cut off a White House briefing to fact check it — something she never would have done, even while covering President Obama.

Megyn also shared this insightful takeaway from her time at NBC: "Jane Fonda was an ass."

Watch the full podcast here:

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Glenn Beck has had enough of exposing scandal after scandal, just to have everyone look the other way: Benghazi, Hillary Clinton's emails, Joe and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine and China … the list goes on, but no consequences are paid. Now, the media have called the election for Joe Biden and insist no one can question it. But for many of the more than 71 million people who voted for President Trump, our search for the truth isn't over yet.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn called out the left's long list of alleged corruption that has gone unchecked and stressed that Donald Trump's legal team must be allowed to go through the process of investigating the multiple allegations of election fraud to ensure our voting systems are fair.

"I don't know about you, but I'm tired. I am worn out. I am fed up!" Glenn said during his opening monologue. "I've had enough. I am tired of exposing corruption, doing our homework, even going overseas and having documents translated to make sure they're exactly right, [and] presenting the evidence ... except, once we expose it, nothing happens. Nobody goes to jail. Nobody pays for a damn thing any more!"

Watch the short video clip from the full show below:


Because the content of this show is sure to set off the Big Tech censors, the full episode is only be available on BlazeTV. The election and its aftermath are the most important stories in America, so we're offering our most timely discount ever: $30 off a one-year subscription to BlazeTV with code "GLENN."