Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is mixing politics with patriotism on Christmas Day as he welcomes naval trainees from a base north of Chicago to a VFW hall in Berwyn and calls on Gov. Blagojevich who is spending the holiday at home with his family in Ravenswood to resign or step aside temporarily instead of ordering his attorneys to fight the impeachment process in Springfield.
"They're delaying the inevitable. He'll be impeached and convicted and removed from office if he persists," said Quinn.
"I would say the committee is still at work, I'm not going to prejudge the final deliberations of the committee," said Il. Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D), Impeachment Committee Chair.
The governor's attorney, Ed Genson, is asking the impeachment committee to subpoena eighteen witnesses to testify in Springfield next week, including two of President-elect Barack Obama's top advisors., Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Chicago Tribune financial advisor Nils Larsen.
Genson wants them to confirm that Blagojevich's alleged pay-to-play threats and demands on those secret FBI tape recordings were all talk and no action.
"From what I've read and heard and witnesses that i have interviewed, nobody did anything," said Genson.
Genson also wants to hear from 14 Illinois residents who've been helped by the governor's programs. And that request is also raising eyebrows.
"We hope that his lawyer isn't trying to delay us, we hope that his lawyer is prepared to respond to the specifics that we raised and that people have raised during the hearings," said Flynn Currie.
"His tactic is to deny and delay, I think they really ought to realize that the best course for the governor to follow is to resign, if not, step aside," said Quinn. The impeachment committee which reconvenes, is hoping to resolve the issue on Friday, with guidance from the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who is also expected to tell the committee if he'll give them some of the audio tapes of the governor's profanity-laced conversations.