President-elect Barack Obama today denied having any dealings with Rod Blagojevich over his Senate replacement, and said news of the Illinois governor’s alleged corruption “saddened and sobered” him, the Chicago Tribune reports. Blagojevich, meanwhile, walked out of federal court on a $4,500 bond after hearing that he could face 10 years in prison for trying to sell the political seat.
Political friends and foes alike are asking the governor to resign, the Sun-Times adds. Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn, who’s next in line, said Blagojevich should “do the right thing and step aside.” Illinois’ top House Republican echoed the request, adding that he has “requested impeachment hearings to begin immediately.”