By Sean Crawford, Illinois Public Radio
Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois House could be ready for an impeachment vote this week. A House panel has been investigating Governor Rod Blagojevich since his arrest for corruption in December.
Blagojevich's controversial decision to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy, even though he was arrested for trying profit from such a move, could speed up the impeachment process in Springfield.
Members of the impeachment inquiry panel are waiting to see if portions of FBI wiretaps will be released. A judge is scheduled to hear that request today (Monday Jan. 5). But no matter the outcome, House lawmakers are being summoned to the Capitol on Wednesday and could vote to impeach Blagojevich before the week is out.
Republican Jim Durkin of Westchester is on the inquiry committee. He said Democrats are feeling heat to do something about the Governor.
"They are in a very difficult political bind, and they are trying to unwind it as quick as they can and get it off their plate," Durkin said.
Durkin said he will ask the committee to subpoena the Governor's choice for the US Senate, Roland Burris. Durkin said it's important the committee hear from Burris about the circumstances surrounding his appointment.
If the Illinois House decides to impeach, the state senate would hold a trial. The timetable for that process remains unclear.
Blagojevich has said he's innocent of corruption charges.