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Blago’s Lawyer to Challenge “Illegal” Wiretaps
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Ed GensonIndicted Governor Rod Blagojevich’s attorney will challenge the lawfulness of the court-ordered wiretaps offered as evidence in federal corruption allegations against the Illinois Democrat.

Chicago attorney Ed Genson criticized FBI wiretaps that prosecutors say record Blagojevich scheming to deal President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for campaign cash or a plum job.

Genson told an Illinois House panel investigating impeachment that its consideration of the recorded excerpts he characterized as meaningless “jabbering” was inappropriate, if not illegal. “I think you’re using evidence that was illegally obtained,” he said.

  
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Members of the House panel pledged to do nothing that would interfere with the investigation by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. If Fitzgerald asks lawmakers not to interview certain witnesses, the panelists will abide by that, they said.

Federal prosecutors’ case could be undermined if Illinois lawmakers compel certain witnesses to testify. Following the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter were thrown out after the courts determined that the cases against them were built too much on testimony they gave to Congress under a promise of immunity.

Unlike the US Constitution, which allows impeachment in cases of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Illinois Constitution does not define an impeachable offense. No Illinois governor has ever been impeached.

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Blagojevich’s first substantial public comments on the scandal will probably come today, according to Genson.





 

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