Blago to Speak in His Own Defense

Embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) announced Wednesday that he will speak in his own defense after initially deciding to boycott his ongoing impeachment trial.

Illinois state Senate President John Cullerton announced the Blagojevich will attend the trial today to deliver his own closing argument. He will not take questions from state senators or from the prosecutors appointed by the state House. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, several senators smiled and shook their heads at the news.

Blagojevich has contended throughout the impeachment process that the case brought against him was illegitimate and that the proceedings were unconstitutional. Blagojevich has demanded that he be able to call witnesses, including top Obama administration officials, to testify in his defense.

"There won't even be proof, the criminal charges in this impeachment, if that's the underlying basis of an impeachment," Blagojevich said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "They won't bring witnesses in to prove it. They won't allow me witnesses to disprove it. The fix is in."

Shortly before the trial kicked off Monday, Blagojevich announced that he would be boycotting the proceedings and instead taking part in a whirlwind media tour. Since then, the Illinois governor has made his case to nearly every available national news outlet.

The prosecutors' last witness was called Wednesday. The Illinois Senate is expected to vote on the governor's removal Friday. The state House voted to impeach Blagojevich 114-1.

Blagojevich has yet to be indicted by federal prosecutors, who have asked for more time to build their case following the December release of a 79-page criminal complaint against the governor.

Copyright POLIT - Politico
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