Obama's Internal Report Will Clear Blago: Atty

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The lead attorney for Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he plans to submit President-elect Barack Obama's internal report on contacts with the governor to the Illinois House committee weighing impeachment.

Attorney Ed Genson told the Chicago Sun-Times Sunday that the report would support Blagojevich's claims that he hasn't done anything wrong in his handling of Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Earlier in the week, Obama released the internal report that supported his insistence that there had been no inappropriate contact with the governor's office by Obama or his staff.

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, who chairs the committee, said Sunday that Genson's request to submit the report would probably be approved. But she expressed skepticism that the report would prove the governor's innocence.

"Maybe in this particular instance someone didn't run a stop sign, but it doesn't say they didn't run a different stop sign," she said.

The House panel next meets Monday.

Genson's move comes after the committee rejected his request to subpoena incoming Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, whose testimony he said would also bolster Blagojevich's claims of innocence.

"Since I can't subpoena anyone, this is the next best thing," Genson said.

The panel rejected his subpoena request after U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said testimony from Emanuel and others would interfere with his investigation.

Currie said Fitzgerald has not yet responded to the committee's request to access wiretap recordings used to build the case against Blagojevich.

"They understand this is urgent," Currie said of the U.S. attorney's office, "so I suspect we'll hear from them very soon."

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on charges accusing him of scheming to swap Obama's vacant Senate seat for profit, shaking down a hospital executive for campaign donations and other wrongdoing. The two-term Democratic governor has declared his innocence and says he will fight the charges.

While he has ignored repeated calls for his resignation, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said Sunday he expects Blagojevich to be impeached and removed from office by Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial birthday celebration Feb. 12.

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