Blagojevich lawyer says probe 'witch hunt'

Dec. 18, 2008 at 7:53 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The attorney for embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich criticized a House committee looking into impeachment possibilities, calling it a "witch hunt."

Criminal defense attorney Ed Genson complained to the committee Wednesday about the lack of standards to determine impeachment and his inability to call witnesses, and he called for the removal of some members because they've made up their minds about his client, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

The panel was scheduled to resume its investigation Thursday into whether to impeach Blagojevich, who was arrested last week on federal corruption accusations, including a claim that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat. The committee was expected to hear from state Auditor General William Holland on matters involving alleged state spending abuses, the Tribune reported.

"Everybody's in a rush to judgment," Genson said Wednesday. "This is a real witch hunt."

Genson said Blagojevich would not name Obama's successor appointment after U.S. Senate Democrats warned they would not seat his selection. He also indicated he may challenge the proceedings in federal court.

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