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Lawyer says Blagojevich won't fill Senate seat

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An attorney for Rod Blagojevich says the embattled Illinois governor will not appoint someone to replace Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

Attorney Ed Genson says Senate leaders have already said they won't accept an appointment by Blagojevich, so there's no reason for the Democratic governor to select someone.

Blagojevich has been charged with scheming to auction off the position to the highest bidder.

The allegation prompted calls to strip the governor of his power to choose a new senator. But Democratic lawmakers dropped that idea.

There was wide speculation about whether Blagojevich would try to make an appointment despite his legal and political problems.

Also Wednesday, the state Supreme Court denied without comment a petition to remove Blagojevich. The petition argued that his legal and political troubles prevented him from performing his duties. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the governor's problems amount to a disability, so Blagojevich should have been stripped of his authority temporarily just as if he were physically incapacitated.

And earlier Wednesday, Genson fired back at the case against his client before a legislative panel.

"The evidence you have is nil. Zero," the veteran lawyer said.

Genson said the wiretaps in which Blagojevich is heard talking about selling or trading a U.S. Senate appointment amounted to all talk and no action. "It's just people jabbering," he said.

Genson pronounced the panel's work unfair, perhaps illegal. Blagojevich, he argued, deserved the right to openly confront the often unnamed people in the federal complaint against him. Much of the U.S. government's case against his client amounted to hearsay — not enough to call for the ouster of a sitting two-term governor, Genson added.

Lawyer says Blagojevich won't fill Senate seat 12/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 1:02pm]
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