Criminal Justice

Illinois AG Calls for Governor to Resign, Promises 'Legal Steps' If He Won't

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In a stunning day for those who follow Illinois politics, the state’s governor was arrested at his home in Chicago today and charged in a political corruption case.

Then, by early this afternoon, the state’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, was calling for Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign immediately, according to a press release published by the Chicago Sun-Times.

If Blagojevich doesn’t do so voluntarily, “as the state’s chief legal officer, I want to assure the people of Illinois that I am working quickly to move forward on the next legal steps should the governor refuse to resign,” she writes. “I am already working with the legislative leaders to make sure that the work of this state continues without interruption.”

Both the governor and the attorney general are Democrats.

But Blagojevich has done nothing wrong and will be vindicated, his lawyer, Sheldon Sorosky, told reporters after his client was arraigned in federal court midway through the afternoon, reports the Politico. And he will not resign from office, Sorosky says.

Details of the charges against Blagojevich, who is accused of having sought to barter President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat for personal advantage, among other charges, are provided in an earlier post.

Additional coverage:

Washington Post: “FBI Arrests Ill. Governor Rod Blagojevich”

New York Times: “Transcript: Justice Department Briefing on Blagojevich Investigation”

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