Attorney Ed Genson has been doing some research.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attorney took the opportunity Monday to tell the Illinois House impeachment committee about what he’s learned about due process and what the standard of impeachment should be for the governor.
“The power of impeachment is an anomaly,” Genson told the committee. “No one came in and told us what the standards for impeachment are. The affidavit was full of allegations and opinions of the prosecutor and FBI agents of this case," Genson said. "The response was cataclysmic.”
Blagojevich's attorney said federal wiretaps may have caught the governor making some "unfortunate" remarks but they don't show him doing anything that justifies impeachment.
Genson says the conversations amount to "unfortunate talk, talk that shouldn't have been made perhaps. But not actions."
The committee may get to hear some of those recordings. Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie announced Monday that federal prosecutors have filed a motion asking a judge to release some of the intercepted phone calls of Gov. Rod Blagojevich to the group deciding on his impeachment.
Genson said the only impeachment he found in his research was of Arizona governor Evan Mecham in 1998, after he had been indicted.
“It is important that this hearing be conducted with due process,” Genson said, referring to remarks made earlier this month by Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. "I haven't heard a single question of a single member of this panel that there is any support for Gov. Blagojevich."
Genson asked the committee to reconsider his request to call witnesses despite Fitzgerald’s letter last week saying it would interfere with his investigation.
"They have no right to oppose it,” Genson said about Fitzgerald’s response to his request to call Obama aides as witnesses. “If you tell the truth, it doesn't make a difference if you tell it once, twice or three times."
Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie told Genson the committee was not a criminal courtroom, nor a jury.
“The decision is within my discretion,” Flynn Currie said. “I have no desire to put that investigation at risk. I am denying your request.”
The 52-year-old governor has repeatedly claimed his innocence.
On Sunday, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he believes Blagojevich will certainly be impeached and convicted by the Illinois Senate by the 200th birthday celebration of Abraham Lincoln in February 2009.
Quinn says he believes Blagojevich is isolated in his decision-making and needs to know he's disgraced himself. Quinn says he hasn't spoken to the Blagojevich since August of 2007.