The lieutenant governor of Illinois said Sunday he is certain scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be out of office in less than two months.
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, speaking from Chicago, said on CBS television's "Face the Nation" that he believes Blagojevich will be impeached and convicted by the Illinois Legislature by Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial birthday celebration on Feb. 12.
Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on charges alleging he schemed to swap Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat for profit, shaking down a hospital executive for campaign donations and other wrongdoing. The governor has declared his innocence and says he will fight the charges.
Quinn described Blagojevich as "isolated" in his decision-making and surrounded by a "tight palace guard" that "tells him what he wants to hear and not what he needs to know."
"He needs to know he's disgraced himself and he's disgraced the people of Illinois," Quinn said.
Quinn and Blagojevich, who have not been close politically, wound up running on the same ticket because Democratic voters nominated one for the governor's job and the other for lieutenant governor.
Quinn would become governor if Blagojevich leaves office. He said he would make an interim appointment to fill Obama's seat and then call for a special election later in the new year.
The Illinois House committee investigating the possibility of impeachment is scheduled to meet again Monday. The panel rejected a request from the governor's lawyer to subpoena two top advisers to Obama, the committee's chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat, said Saturday.
If the House approves impeaching Blagojevich, the Senate would hold a trial. It would take a two-thirds vote to remove him from office.
Quinn said Sunday that far more than the required two-thirds of the state's senators are ready to vote for impeachment.
Blagojevich has not given any indication that he will resign. He has been going to work and signing legislation since the charges were announced.
On Sunday, Blagojevich approved $2 million in grants for a statewide program that adds ramps and chair lifts for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Quinn said Blagojevich's daily routine since the charges has been a "pretense that he's doing his regular business."