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Impeachment defense lawyers abandon case

TEN days before the impeachment trial that could cost Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich his office, his team of defense lawyers have withdrawn from proceedings, which two of the attorneys compared to a "lynching."

Lead attorney Edward M. Genson disassociated himself from any lynching talk but did say the rules of the state Senate trial, the first of its kind in Illinois history, "were extraordinarily unfair" and assured that the governor would be convicted.

"It's a foregone conclusion," Genson said on Friday.

He said he decided "a few days ago" not to take part but since then has been directed by Blagojevich not to attend.

"I have been instructed not to participate in the impeachment trial," he said.

He said he will still defend Blagojevich on federal charges of fraud and bribery.

Blagojevich was arrested on December 9 and charged with planning to trade or sell Barack Obama's US Senate seat and illegally using his powers to press contributors for money.

Attorney Sam Adam and his son, Samuel E. Adam, said they have not had enough time to get ready for the Senate trial.

He added they don't have subpoena power to call their own witnesses.


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