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The Long, Slow Process Towards Impeachment Begins

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 15, 2008 8:05PM

2008_12_15_madigan.jpgIllinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced today he is formally beginning proceedings towards the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The first step will be to appoint a committee that will review the evidence and recommend whether or not Blagojevich should be impeached. Madigan said, "We plan to proceed without delay," and promises the committee will work tirelessly except for taking Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. So it's going to take weeks to decide whether or not to recommend impeachment? Here we'll help you out: YES. There, let's move on to the next stage.

In all seriousness, Madigan is promising to be thorough and detail-oriented about the investigation:

We will have evidence. We'll ask for the cooperation of the office of the United States attorney. Our desire would be that office would give us whatever information they deem appropriate to give us for purposes of the committee hearing.
It's been 11 years since the last time Illinois has considered impeachment. In 1997, Supreme Court Justice James Heiple faced impeachment but the committee ultimately voted 8-2 against proceeding. Supreme Court Justice Theophilus Smith was charged with seven articles of impeachment in 1832, but wasn't convicted by the Senate.

Photo of Mike Madigan via his website