State legislators weighing evidence against Gov. Rod Blagojevich may finish their work before getting any tapes of the governor's conversations that were made secretly by the FBI, attorneys indicated Monday.
The House impeachment panel is racing to complete its job, possibly by the end of this week. But the efforts of federal prosecutors to give the panel some of the FBI tapes face a potential obstacle course in court that could take up several weeks.
"These tapes are relevant evidence; we'd like to have them," said David Ellis, a lawyer for the impeachment panel. But he said the panel could wrap up its work as early as this week, and "we have already gathered a large volume of evidence."
Blagojevich, 52, a two-term Democrat, is charged along with former Chief of Staff John Harris with a scheme to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Barack Obama's election as president.
Blagojevich is also charged with illegally plotting to use his power as governor to squeeze roadbuilders, a harness racing executive and the head of a children's hospital, among others, for hefty campaign contributions.
Prosecutors propose to provide the impeachment panel with a few minutes of the extensive recordings the FBI made of the governor talking with aides and others.