WASHINGTON--While much of the focus of Gov. Blagojevich's impeachment has focused on accusations he was trying to auction off President Obama's vacant Senate seat, there are many other elements to the Articles of Impeachment.
Blagojevich, in addressing the state Senate on Thursday chose to dwell on some of the weaker parts of the impeachment charges. He never addressed the significant abuse of power allegations, including trading contracts, legislation and appointments for campaign cash.
Two of weaker charges filed against Blagojevich stem from ill fated actions taken during his first term involving purchase of flu vaccines without proper approval, making the sale illegal and trying to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries a few years ago without consent of the Food and Drug Administration.
Blagojevich correctly told the state Senate on Thursday that the mover behind the drug importation issue was then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, now President Obama's chief of staff. The FDA proved to be a toothless tiger in the drug importation movement and never seriously tried to either approve or block any importation plans put in place by a relatively small number of cities and states.
That's the context. Blagojevich said he the state senate fires him, than Emanuel should be tossed out too.
Referring to having Illinois bring in prescription drugs from other states, Blagojevich said, "And I loved the idea, and we did it. And then so did Wisconsin,
and so did Kansas, and so did Vermont. If you're impeaching me for
providing safe and affordable prescription drugs by going to Canada
and getting the same medicines made by the exact same companies, then
the governor of Wisconsin ought to be impeached, the governor of
Kansas ought to be impeached, the governor of Vermont ought to be
"And while we're at it, let's reach right into the United States
Senate and let's expel John McCain and Ted Kennedy because I worked
with them on this issue of the re-importation of prescription drugs.
And then let's not stop there. Let's demand that President Obama fire
Rahm Emanuel because Rahm Emanuel was the one who gave me this idea.
If you're going to throw me out of office for something like this,
then how can those guys stay in the offices that they have?
"Here again is an issue that happened in the first term, not the
second term, and everybody knew about it. And in spite of the
criticism, and I understand all that, the people of Illinois elected
me a second time knowing what I did with regard to prescription drugs
for our senior citizens. "