Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rod Blagojevich

Illinois senators stripped Gov. Rod Blagojevich of power Thursday in the final act of a political drama that handed the reins of state government to his estranged lieutenant governor, Pat Quinn, and likely will end Blagojevich's career in politics.

The governor's impeachment was triggered by his arrest last month on a variety of federal corruption charges. The criminal complaint against him included a long list of shocking quotes related to Blagojevich's apparent attempt to auction off President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat and pressure people for campaign donations.

"For months, the state had been crippled by a crisis of leadership," Obama said. "Now that cloud has lifted. I wish Governor Quinn the best and pledge my full cooperation as he undertakes his new responsibilities The former governor had refused to take part in the state Senate trial, but he surprised everyone by asking to make a closing statement Thursday, in which he insisted that he should not be tossed out of office on what he called incomplete evidence.

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