St. Louis Public Radio News
7:14 am
Thu December 18, 2008

Blagojevich attorney: panel should not consider wiretaps

Springfield, IL – An attorney representing Governor Rod Blagojevich in his criminal and impeachment proceedings says lawmakers considering impeachment proceedings should not consider material from federal wiretaps.

Attorney Edward Genson made his second appearance in front of the special Illinois House committee Thursday. He says the taped conversations have not been approved as evidence in a criminal trial.

"I have cases here that I won't belabor you with where people have tried to talk about these things in front of grand juries, and they said they've said they couldn't do it," Genson told the 21-member panel. "Until we get a chance to contest it, until we get the underlying documents, the use of this is illegal."

At one point, Genson and another lawyer discussed walking out of the committee room. They have clashed with the committee over its procedures, and over the presence of members who have openly expressed a preference for impeachment.

Also today, the committee took testimony about Blagojevich's plans to import flu vaccine from a foreign country despite knowing the medicine could not be used, and his efforts to expand a state health care program over the objections of the General Assembly and the state's rule-making body.