Blago ‘Dying to Talk'

Rezko court appearance, impeachment hearings add to legal troubles

What a difference a week makes. Seven days after being charged with corruption, Blagojevich has a new lawyer, impeachment is looming and Tony Rezko may be piling on his mounting legal troubles.

The Illinoi House impeachment committee met for the first time Tuesday, but adjourned after just a few hours.  The committee is waiting on word from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on whom it can call as witnesses without interfering with the federal case against Blagojevich.

Lawmakers say the impeachment committee will work fast, but no timetable has been set for how long the process might take.

 "We ought to move as quickly as possible to correct our problems and to get ourselves on a track where we can do what we're supposed to do for the people of Illinois," said House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat and former co-chairman of Blagojevich's re-election campaign who has become one of the governor's fiercest critics.

Also Tuesday, sentencing for convicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko was postponed indefinitely. Court-watchers say the delay will give Rezko more time to talk to prosecutors about Blagojevich or other lawmakers.
Rezko, who raised more than $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign fund, was convicted of shaking down businesses seeking state business for campaign contributions. Witnesses at his trial testified that Blagojevich was aware of some of the incidents.

Blagojevich returned to work at the State of Illinois building today after hiring renowned Chicago criminal attorney Edward Genson, who says his client didn't break the law.

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

Blagojevich and Genson have met for several hours over the last three days. Genson, a legendary courtroom bulldog, has represented R&B superstar R. Kelly and Hollinger media mogul Conrad Black. 

"I think that the case that I've seen so far is significantly exaggerated," Genson said. "It's not what people think it is."

Genson has said he will represent Blagojevich in the criminal case and in the impeachment proceedings.  The attorney will likely go to Springfield on Wednesday when the impeachment committee reconvenes.

The governor has repeatedly told reporters he will speak at the "appropriate time."

"I'm dying to talk to you," Blagojevich said Tuesday morning as he left his home.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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