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Bob Barr slams Illinois House impeachment resolution; calls Blagojevich impeachment premature and irresponsible

Former Congressman Bob Barr issued a statement today criticizing the Illinois House of Representatives for its resolution impeaching Governor Rod Blagojevich, calling such a move “premature” and “irresponsible.”

“To impeach a duly-elected governor against who there has been no formal charges whatsoever brought, much less a finding of guilt, is premature and highly irresponsible,” said Barr, a former federal prosecutor and a Clinton impeachment manager during his service as a member of the United States House of Representatives in 1998-1999.

“To jump to the conclusion that a governor is guilty of impeachable offenses based on nothing more than preliminary, government-developed evidence for which there has been no opportunity to rebut or refute, is to render meaningless any notion of due process, equal protection of the law, or presumption of innocence,” Barr concluded.

For further information please contact Andy MacPherson at 770-836-1776 or andy@bobbarr.org.

Barr, a former Member of Congress (1995-2003), also served previously as a US Attorney and with the Central Intelligence Agency. He was the Libertarian nominee for President in 2008.

Posted to IPR by Paulie

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13 Comments

  1. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 13, 2009

    No response George?

  2. George Phillies George Phillies January 13, 2009

    There is an available list of the actual charges against the Illinois Governor. It includes acts he committed in 2007 having nothing to do with the recent foofaraw.

  3. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 12, 2009

    I love how George Phillies always tries to identify Republicans or Conservatives as “war mongers” and Democrats as peaceloving civil-liberties lovers.

    Let me give you a hint George: The Democrats cheered this war on and only turned against it because they werent in power and that gave them leverage. Furthermore, the modern standard-bearers of the conservative ideology were AGAINST the War in Iraq. George Will, Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, and even William F. Buckley all opposed the war.

  4. Jeff Wartman Jeff Wartman January 12, 2009

    I do think that Illinois has been way to hasty on this.

    Then you’re not aware of Blagojevich’s history.

    To anyone who’s ben paying attention, the General Assembly is actually late on this. This has been in the works since the summer of 2007.

  5. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli Post author | January 12, 2009

    Jill, take another look. Last line is

    He was the Libertarian nominee for President in 2008.

  6. Jill Stone Jill Stone January 12, 2009

    I’m pleased that Bob Barr was identified as “former Congressman” instead of…you know. Maybe the 2008 nightmare of the Libertarian party can be forgotten.

  7. Steven Druckenmiller Steven Druckenmiller January 12, 2009

    I don’t see anything out of line with calling it “premature and irresponsible”. That’s what it is. I agree with the points that due process, equal protection and all that jazz does not apply, but I do think that Illinois has been way to hasty on this.

  8. Libertarian Joseph Libertarian Joseph January 11, 2009

    I would like Balago to use the national guard to blow up the state house, while they’re in session.

  9. Jeff Wartman Jeff Wartman January 11, 2009

    The reasonable standard for innocence for a chief magistrate accused of crimes is “pure as the driven snow”.

    The impeachment process does not take place in the legal area. There are no standards of innocence or burden of proof. Impeachment is a political process, and the General Assembly passed the impeachment measure based on the fact that he is no longer fit to be governor.

    This isn’t new. The General Assembly first started mullings about impeaching Blago during the summer of 2007. When the criminal complaint came out, the only people in Illinois surprised by the account are people who aren’t paying attention.

    Also, impeachment means that there will be a trial, and the Republican Governor will get to prove he did not try to sell a Senate nomination.

    Blagojevich is a Democrat.

  10. George Phillies George Phillies January 11, 2009

    What Barr means is that he is concerned that the impeachment idea could spread to Congress, and his friends in the Bush Republican War Crimes Party could face impeachment as well as other charges.

    The reasonable standard for innocence for a chief magistrate accused of crimes is “pure as the driven snow”.

    Also, impeachment means that there will be a trial, and the Republican Governor will get to prove he did not try to sell a Senate nomination.

  11. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 11, 2009

    “The General Assembly could theoretically impeach a governor if they don’t like the way he blows his nose.”

    Jeff Wartman beat me to it.

  12. Jeff Wartman Jeff Wartman January 11, 2009

    Mr. Barr seems to be confused. Due process and presumption of innocence exist in the legal arena, not political one. The Illinois Constitution is quite clear — there is no “high crimes and misdemeanors” clause. The General Assembly doesn’t need to prove any illegality. Impeachment is a political maneuver, not a legal one. The General Assembly could theoretically impeach a governor if they don’t like the way he blows his nose.

  13. FromIL FromIL January 11, 2009

    It is clear that Rep. Barr is not from Illinois and doesn’t understand all the mess we have been through with Rod Blagojevich.

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