Facing almost certain defeat in a Senate impeachment trial, Gov. Rod Blagojevich might ask the courts to step in and block a proceeding that he considers "a sham," a lawyer for the Democratic governor said Thursday.
Attorney Samuel E. Adam told The Associated Press on Thursday that a lawsuit challenging what he called "completely unfair" Senate trial rules is being prepared and could be filed to the state Supreme Court within days, pending a final decision on whether to move forward.
Blagojevich's trial is set to begin Monday.
The governor told the AP he has no intention of mounting a defense unless rules are changed before the Senate trial that will determine whether he's thrown out of office.
"Give me a right to call witnesses, give me a right to subpoena witnesses and documents, to properly prepare a case — and I'll be the first one there," said Blagojevich, whose voice rose as he spoke. Otherwise, "I'm not going to be a party to a process like that.
"And if it means I have to sacrifice myself to a higher cause, for the people of Illinois and for the principle of due process and the right to call witnesses, then so be it," Blagojevich said.
But Blagojevich added he does not intend to resign.
"I'm not going to resign, of course not," he said. "I've done absolutely nothing wrong."
In an outline of potential arguments provided to the AP, Adam critcized House impeachment proceedings for denying Blagojevich's attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses. It also said senators must accept House evidence that assumes various claims against the governor are true, such as federal corruption charges and allegations Blagojevich illegally expanded a health care program.