Rod Blagojevich is an American former politician who served as the 40th Governor of Illinois .. The case was settled in the judges’ favor in , with Blagojevich’s veto ruled as violating the state’s constitution. . States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, as impeachment is a political, not a criminal, sanction. Rod Blagojevich was convicted Monday on 17 of the 20 public corruption charges against Blagojevich committed crimes, according to a jury. AO 91 (REV.5/85) Criminal Complaint AUSAs: REID SCHAR . Friends of Blagojevich is a private entity organized and existing under the laws.
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As a result, Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office by the Illinois Senate in January The federal investigation continued after his removal from office and he was indicted on corruption charges in April of that year. The investigation became public knowledge when a federal judge revealed that Blagojevich complant the “Public Official A” in the complainf of Tony Rezko.
The case gained widespread attention with the simultaneous arrests of Blagojevich and Harris on the morning of December 9, at their homes by federal agents.
Rod Blagojevich corruption charges
The case involved sweeping pay to play and influence peddling allegations, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the U. Senate as a replacement for Barack Obamawho had resigned after being elected U. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama.
After the arrest, Illinois elected officials began calling on Blagojevich to resign. The 50 members of the U. Senate’s Democratic caucus called blagohevich Blagojevich to not appoint a senator and pledged not to seat anyone he attempted to appoint.
Legislators introduced bills in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to remove the Governor’s power to appoint a senator and require a special election; however, no crimnal bill passed. Blagojevich did blagojevlch appoint Roland Burris to the seat. Despite attempts to keep Burris from taking the seat in the U.
Senate, he was eventually allowed to take the oath of office.
Within days of Blagojevich’s arrest, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking to declare the Governor “unable to serve” and strip him of the powers of his office. The court denied the request. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan the Attorney General’s father announced that on December 16 he would begin impeachment proceedings.
The state House impeached Blagojevich on January 9,and the state Senate convicted him 20 days later, thereby removing him; they also disqualified him from holding further office in the state. Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich had domplaint under investigation for corrupt activity for four years, as part of a broader federal investigation by Patrick Fitzgeraldcode-named Operation Board Gamesthat had been going on for three years.
District Judge Amy St. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously; and those who feel like they want to sneakily, and wear taping devices, I would remind them that it kind of smells blagomevich Nixon and Watergate. Senate as a replacement for Barack Obama when the latter resigned after being elected U. Before the scandal, Blagojevich considered himself as a contender for the presidential electionbut was willing to pursue an interim position as a Cabinet member, a U.
Senate as convertible currency of the form that could assure this future. A federal grand jury in Illinois returned an indictment against Blagojevich and five other defendants on April 2, In Juneit was determined by the judge overseeing the case that the Blagojevich trial would start on June 3, Wisconsin Senator Russell Feingoldwho then served as the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary ‘s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rightshad stated that he would introduce a constitutional amendment requiring vacant Senate seats be filled by special elections, as the House of Representatives requires; however, nothing ever came of it.
Fraud involving the appointment of a senator to fill the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama has been the most notable charge against Blagojevich. If I don’t get what I want I’ll just take the Senate seat myself. Blagojevich allegedly sought the following in exchange for an appointment: Following Blagojevich’s arrest, Richard Durbinthe U.
Senator for Illinois who had served alongside Barack Obama, issued a statement regarding the prospective gubernatorial appointment to replace Obama in the Senate: Neither house debated the bills, nor were they enacted. In the midst of the controversy, on December 31,Blagojevich appointed Roland Burrisa former Illinois Attorney General and the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Illinois, to the vacated Senate seat.
Senate leaders argued that Senate Rule 2 requires a senator-designate’s credentials to be signed by the state’s governor and secretary of state. The lone Democrat to show support for Burris’ nomination was chair of the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Dianne Feinsteinwho recognized the propriety of the appointment based on the statutory authority of the Illinois Governor. On January 8, Burris testified before the Illinois House committee that he had engaged in no wrongdoing in order to procure the nomination by the Governor.
Further, the court ruled that the only necessary act by the Secretary of State was the registration of the appointment in Illinois’s official records, which Jesse White had performed on December 31, After the court’s ruling, White provided Burris with a certified copy, which bears the Seal of the State of Illinois, of the appointment’s registration, which Burris delivered to the Secretary of the Senate.
Burris filed an affidavit with the Illinois House committee that oversaw Governor Blagojevich’s impeachment, dated February 5, to supplement his earlier answer to a question posed by the committee.
Burris said he told Blagojevich that he could not donate to him because “it could be viewed as an attempt to curry favor with him regarding his decision to appoint a successor to President Obama.
On February 16, in comments to reporters, Burris acknowledged he sought to raise campaign complainh for Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate. Durbin requested a meeting with Burris on February 24 to discuss the disclosures. Durbin told reporters that during the meeting he advised him to resign: Burris stated that he would not do so.
Durbin also inquered about Burris’ plans for the U. Senate elections and relayed to Burris that he would be very unlikely to succeed in the primary or general election. On February 25, Lisa Madigan confirmed the constitutionality of moving forward a direct election for the seat formerly held by Obama to a targeted May 26 date.
Blagojevich was aware that Barack Obama would have preferred ” Senate Candidate 1″ Valerie Jarrettand he allegedly made efforts to obtain favors in exchange crimonal appointing Jarrett for the U. On December 10, Obama called for Blagojevich’s resignation.
In a December 11 press conferenceObama stated that he and his staff and transition team were not involved in any corrupt activity, and that his staff had been exonerated by the page FBI affidavit.
Rod Blagojevich corruption charges – Wikipedia
He stated that, not only had he never engaged the governor on the topic of his Senate seat, but he was “confident that no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat”.
Obama stated that he did not think Blagojevich could “effectively serve the people of Illinois” and that his former Senate seat “belongs to the people”. He also stated that to his knowledge, no representatives of his had engaged in any dealmaking with the governor.
On December 15, the Obama team confirmed that its internal review found no inappropriate contact between Obama’s staff and Blagojevich or his staff,  stating “that review affirmed the public statements of the president-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U. In AprilBlagojevich moved to subpoena Obama. After his arrest, Blagojevich appeared before U. Magistrate Judge Nan R. He was also ordered to surrender his passport and his firearm owner’s identification card.
He then returned to work where his office issued a statement saying the “allegations do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the State”. Had he pleaded guilty to the charges, Blagojevich would have been automatically forced to resign, as the Illinois Constitution does not allow convicted felons to hold office. On December 11,John Fritcheya Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, circulated a letter to the Illinois House Democratic Caucus to outline options for moving beyond the crisis caused by the criminal allegations against Blagojevich.
In the letter, Fritchey mentioned the following scenarios to replace Blagojevich:. Blagojevich faced calls from members of both major parties and prominent politicians to resign. On December 9, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn said in a news conference that Blagojevich should temporarily step aside from his office. On December 10,the Democratic Caucus of the United States Senate called for Blagojevich to resign and demanded that he not appoint a replacement for Obama.
The letter also mentioned that, if Blagojevich appointed a successor to Obama in the U. Senate would be “forced to exercise [its] Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated”.
Illinois’ remaining senator, Majority Whip Dick Durbinurged the state legislature to quickly set a special election to fill Obama’s vacant Senate seat, saying that any appointment by Blagojevich would not be legitimate. House Speaker Madigan felt it would be inappropriate to make a statement calling for a resignation or a statement supporting an impeachment because he would have to preside over any impeachment debate. On December 19,at the Thompson CenterBlagojevich said he “ha[d] done nothing wrong” and would not resign as governor in the face of federal corruption charges.
He added that he would “answer [all questions] in the appropriate forum: On December 12,Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan began legal proceedings in the Illinois Supreme Court to have Blagojevich declared “unfit to serve” in case he did not resign.
Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court asking it to temporarily suspend Blagojevich’s powers by declaring him unable to serve and name Lieutenant Governor Quinn as acting governor. Failing that, Madigan sought a temporary injunction barring Blagojevich from appointing a replacement for Obama. She said that given the nature of the charges, the situation was too severe to wait for the legislature to act. According to the FBI affidavit, Blagojevich attempted to have Chicago Tribune writers fired for discussing his possible impeachment.
On December 15, the sixth day after the scandal broke with no resignation by the Governor, the Illinois House voted unanimously —0 to begin impeachment proceedings.
It is my intention to appoint a special committee to begin immediately an investigation into the governor’s conduct in office and to undertake the preparatory work that is a prerequisite to an impeachment proceeding in the Illinois House.
Madigan further stated, “We have given the governor six days to resign. The Illinois House would decide whether to impeach after the committee completed its review. The Illinois Senate would then have a trial to remove the Governor from office. Madigan stated that the impeachment committee would consider the pending criminal charges as well as review other possible wrongdoing during Blagojevich’s term such as abuse of power, taking action without legal authority, ignoring state laws, and defying lawful requests for information from the General Assembly.
She also warned that the panel’s interest in investigating alleged criminal activities surrounding Blagojevich might be affected by how much cooperation was forthcoming from federal investigators, which was supported by a formal written request to Prosecutor Fitzgerald. On January 8, after the testimony by Roland Burris, the member bipartisan committee on impeachment voted unanimously to recommend that the House impeach the Governor. The lone dissenter was Chicago-area Representative Milton Patterson ; three other representatives abstained.
Under the Illinois ConstitutionFitzgerald rather than Senate President John Cullertonpresided because the accused was the governor. Blagojevich was the sixteenth governor in the United States and the first Illinois governor to be impeached. Seven of the fifteen impeached governors were removed from office.
The article of impeachment alleged a pattern of conduct constituting abuse of power, including the events described in the criminal complaint and several instances of ignoring Illinois law in his use of executive power.
Among the misdeeds were the following:. On January 14, the new session of the Illinois House of Representatives convened and voted to affirm the impeachment vote of the prior session with only Blagojevich’s sister-in-law Deborah Mell dissenting. The impeachment trial in the Illinois State Senate began on January 26, On January 27, Federal prosecutors played four recordings from among the thousands of intercepted calls from Blagojevich’s home and campaign offices.
Although lawmakers trying to build an impeachment case wanted to hear more, the prosecutors feared further collaboration could jeopardize the criminal case against the governor. The recordings played at the impeachment trial were taped in November and December and revealed efforts by Blagojevich to collect money from a horse track owner in exchange for signing legislation benefiting the racing industry, prosecutors said.
State Senator Dan Cronin said hearing the recordings “hits me right here in the stomach. It sort of reminds me of some Hollywood movie or a couple of thugs in a car driving around.