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Grand Theatre Wednesday As Gov. Blagojevich Opens Illinois State Senate

January 13, 2009

Before the Illinois State Senate starts historic impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich they will be sworn in for the new legislative session.

Who gives them the oath of office?

Rod Blagojevich.

This might be one reason I do not get my own novel finished.  There just is no way to compete with the news.

First the tragedy, then the farce.

A surreal scenario is expected to play out Wednesday in the Illinois Senate: Against a ceremonial backdrop of pomp and circumstance, Democratic Gov. Blagojevichwill preside over the swearing-in of the very same lawmakers whose first order of business will be to consider whether to dump him from office.

The first impeachment trial of a governor in Illinois’ long, corrupt history is expected to look a lot like the last one that gripped the nation’s attention a decade ago— President Bill Clinton’s  1999 U.S. Senate trial, even if it could stretch out longer than the three weeks that one lasted.

The 59 senators—37 Democrats and 22 Republicans, including three freshmen—will act as the jury. The state Supreme Court’s chief justice, Thomas Fitzgerald, will preside. A special prosecutor hired by the House will trade rhetoric with Blagojevich‘s defense team, likely to be led by renowned criminal attorney Ed Genson. And all the drama will unfold live to the public, including deliberations.

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