Disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has no plans to resign, "at least today," his spokesman told ABC News, despite Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's announcement that she has asked the state Supreme Court today to declare Blagojevich "unable to serve," setting in motion a process that could force him out of office by the end of the day.
The Illinois Supreme Court responded with a one sentence ruling Dec. 17, rejecting efforts by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to force Governor Rod Blagojevich out of office. Without providing a reason, the court denied petitions by Madigan to find Blagojevich "unfit" for office and "politically incapable" of acting following his arrest on corrupt charges by FBI agents.
Meanwhile, late today, a spokesperson for Rahm Emanuel confirmed in an e-mail that an Associated Press story, saying that he is not a target of the investigation, is "accurate." Questions remain, however, over his contacts with Blagojevich and his staff, and Emanuel has still not said whether or not he's been contacted by the FBI for questioning.
The attempt to have Blagojevich declared unfit to serve was filed in a federal complaint which said "The nature and severity of the allegations" should force the court to "stop the governor from performing his duties," said Madigan.
She said the court should allow Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn to temporarily assume the governor's duties, under a state law that has never been used.
The attorney general said the court, at the very least, should prevent Blagojevich from filling the U.S. Senate seat he is accused of trying to sell to the highest bidder.
Blagojevich's spokesman, Lucio Guerrero, did note that the widespread calls for him to step down are "in his head."
"Not from my indication or knowledge is that on his mind, at least today," Guerrero said when asked about reports that the governor was considering resigning.
"He realizes that there are people out there who want him to resign and I'm sure it's in his head ... but it's only been three or four days and he hasn't had a chance to step back ... and reflect on what's going on. I don't know if he's come to a conclusion on that. Resignation is not something he's talking about," added Guerrero.
Guerrero said they might put out a statement later today on Attorney General Madigan's filings with the state Supreme Court, but at this point, he was not sure what they would do next, noting that he had not talked to the governor since before Madigan's press conference earlier today.
Blagojevich met this morning at his home with a group of Black ministers, declaring he would be "vindicated."
In other news related to the scandal, Blagojevich's chief of staff John Harris has resigned, the governor's spokesman Guerrero just confirmed. Harris was arrested and arraigned Tuesday along with Blagojevich. Both were released on bond.
Harris' attorney Jim Sotos told the Associated Press that his client resigned "because it was the right thing to do, and that's all I'm going to say."
President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, delayed going to work at the Chicago presidential transition offices today because of the media that is camped outside his home. A spokesman for Emanuel says he later showed up at the office, apparently able to sneak out of the house without being seen by reporters waiting to ask him questions.