Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyer said Monday that a vague array of charges and evidence doesn’t merit removing the governor from office, and he urged a House committee not to recommend impeachment.
Attorney Ed Genson complained bitterly that lawmakers were considering snippets of tape-recorded conversations that are quoted in a criminal complaint against the Democratic governor. He said no one knows the full context of those remarks or whether they are quoted accurately.
“We are fighting shadows, and that’s not right,” Genson said.
Monday’s hearing was the first time Genson has comprehensively responded to the impeachment charges. Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI Dec. 9 on a variety of corruption charges, including scheming to benefit from naming President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate.
The governor denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to fight both impeachment and the criminal charges.