Digital News Report- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily remove Governor Blagojevich from office following the recent scandal. Madigan has also requested that he be stripped of his duties to prevent him from appointing the vacant Senate seat left by President-elect Barack Obama. Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, has resigned due to his role in the scandal.
In a press conference on Friday she stated, “I recognize that this is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances.” She went on to say that Illinois has been “paralyzed” by the Governor, and that these actions need to be taken.
Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal corruption charges relating in part to the selection of a successor to Obama’s vacant Senate seat. He is also being investigated for his attempts to withhold funding from the Chicago Tribune if they did not fire certain employees. His wife is also tied to the Tribune scandal.
The Republican National Committee has released a statement questioning Obama’s involvement in the case. Among other things, they have urged Obama to release copies of any written correspondents between him or his aids with Blagojevich regarding the open Senate seat. Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe described Obama as “sitting on the sidelines” of the ordeal and questions the credibility of his statements.
ABC’s Jake Tapper also urges the President-elect to be more transparent. He states that, “true transparency means… telling voters about matters that aren’t entirely comfortable to share,” including talking about, “ what role anyone Team Obama played in any of the various shenanigans Gov. Blagojevich is accused of committing.”