US attorney wants more time to indict gov.

December 31, 2008 3:37:30 PM PST
Wednesday's court filing shows that the investigation into the governor's activities in office is expanding. From the point of the governor's arrest on December 9, federal prosecutors had 30 days within which to bring an indictment or ask for extension. They have done what was widely expected they would do; ask for more time. And their request makes it clear there's much more to come in the case against Rod Blagojevich.

Federal prosecutors are asking for another 90 days to fully develop the case against the governor.

Wednesday's court filing reveals the government's investigation of Rod Blagojevich began in 2003, not long after he first took office.

This year between late October and the governor's arrest on December 9, thousands of phone calls were intercepted. In addition, the government says multiple witnesses have come forward in recent weeks to discuss their knowledge of criminal activity in this investigation. There are multiple defendants and potential defendants. It's getting bigger.

In Springfield, where the House select committee on impeachment resumes its work Tuesday, lawmakers are incensed by the Blagojevich appointment of Roland Burris.

"It's not an impeachable step. Not something that violates his constitutional oath, but it does violate the general sense of legislators of what is appropriate, what is fair play and what should have been done," Ill. Rep. Lou Lang, (D) Skokie

Committee members say they intend to move with diligence and dispatch. The House republican leader believes a full house vote to impeach could come late next week.

If not next week, some predict the full house vote on impeachment will come the week after next, and the case would move to the state Senate for trial after the new legislature is seated on January 14.

"I believe there is a desire in the senate as we have had in the house - to do this correctly and with all due process as quickly as we can because the people of Illinois deserve an end to this process," said Ill. Rep. Tom Cross House GOP Leader

Prosecutors will go to court on Monday to formally ask for the extension. They will also ask the court to release four select secret recordings of the governor for use by the House committee on impeachment.

The decision on that request may not come on Monday, and while committee members say they would welcome the tapes and would intend to play them publicly, they won't allow their absence to slow the impeachment process.

Prosecutors will go to court on Monday to formally ask for the extension. They will also ask the court to release four select secret recordings of the governor for use by the House committee on impeachment.

The decision on that request may not come on Monday. And while committee members say they would welcome the tapes and would intend to play them publicly, they won't allow their absence to slow the impeachment process.

On Wednesday afternoon, Roland Burris went to the Illinois state supreme court, filed a motion that he asks would compel Jesse White to sign that certificate that says he is ready to become a U.S. Senator. White has said he won't. The Senate Democrats say they won't seat him.


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