St. Louis Public Radio News
9:16 am
Wed January 21, 2009

Blagojevich fails to respond to Senate subpoena

Springfield, Ill. – Governor Rod Blagojevich has offered no response to the Illinois Senate in advance of his impeachment trial.

Blagojevich was sent a summons last week, asking him to address charges that he abused his authority as Governor.

The request sought a plea from the Governor of guilty or not guilty; the latter would essentially result in Blagojevich being removed from office without a trial.

But the proceedings will apparently go on as scheduled starting next Monday. If the Governor files no response it will be treated as a "not guilty" plea.

Blagojevich has no legal representation for the trial, as his attorneys have indicated they plan to boycott it. They argue the rules are set up so that the Governor cannot get a fair hearing because Blagojevich has no ability to subpoena witnesses.

The attorney for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan will handle the prosecution.

Blagojevich is the first Illinois Governor to be tried in the Senate after the House voted to impeach him earlier this month, and a Senate conviction would remove him from office.