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Blago impeachment to go on without lawyers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will go on in Springfield even if his attorneys boycott the proceedings, a key state legislator says.

Blagojevich's legal team announced Friday they would boycott the trial in the Illinois State Senate as a political lynching, but Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, insists the trial will go on, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

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"(Blagojevich) can get another lawyer. He's a lawyer himself," Cullerton said. "If he chooses to not have a lawyer, that's up to him."

Blagojevich lawyers Edward Genson, Sam Adam and son Sam Adam Jr. told he newspaper Friday they would not be present later this month when the Illinois Senate begins deliberating removing the governor from office, claiming the inability to call witnesses, or to know the identities of the key parties in the alleged pay-to-play schemes Blagojevich is accused of, makes it impossible to defend him.

Cullerton defended the rules, saying they are identical to those used in the impeachment trial of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was acquitted.

"Impeachments are very rare, and convictions are even rarer," Cullerton told the Tribune.

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