Updated: Thursday, 29 Jan 2009, 4:58 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 29 Jan 2009, 4:53 PM EST
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has started debating whether to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.
Democratic Sen. William Haine of Alton begin deliberations by pointing out that Blagojevich presented no evidence to defend himself on the abuse-of-power charges.
And Republican Dale Righter of Mattoon called the governor "a devious, cynical, crass and corrupt politician."
Each senator can speak for up to five minutes on whether or not to convict Blagojevich.
They'll vote later Thursday. It will take a two-thirds majority -- or 40 of 59 senators -- to convict.
Blagojevich addressed the Senate earlier in the day, saying he's done nothing wrong and shouldn't be removed because of criminal allegations that haven't been proven yet.
The impeachment prosecutor, however, says plenty of evidence shows Blagojevich isn't fit to govern.