IL House Special Investigation Committee Proceeds After Clarification From Fed Investigators

By Benjamin Cox on September 20, 2020 at 5:39pm

Illinois lawmakers looking into alleged illegal dealings of House Speaker Michael Madigan are free to pursue their own investigation. The Illinois House’s Special Investigative Committee was given the green light with stipulations by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District John Lausch, Jr. late Thursday night with a letter outlining things the committee can and cannot pursue in hearings.

Lausch says that the committee would receive an objection to their work if questions about whether the witnesses shared facts with prosecutors or federal law enforcement agents, as such questions could reveal confidential information about the course of the federal government’s investigation that could deter cooperation from other witnesses. In addition, Lausch said he would object to the committee requesting documents directly from his office or from other federal agencies, or any documents related to a proposed federal grant of immunity.

Lausch’s letter clears up the interpretation of a phone call between the special committee’s chairman Hillside Democrat Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch, and the panel’s ranking Republican, Representative Tom Demmer, of Dixon. The two walked away from that conversations with vastly different interpretations of what Lausch had said.

Welch released a statement Friday saying that committee has sent letters to Madigan, former lobbyist Michael McClain of Quincy, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, Fidel Marquez, John Hooker, Jay D. Doherty, Michael R. Zalewski, and Commonwealth Edison seeking their appearance at the committee’s next hearing on Tuesday, September 29th at the state capitol.

The committee is seeking whether Madigan committed actions unbecoming a legislator in violation of the public trust If his fellow lawmakers find that he did commit such actions, disciplinary action could range from a reprimand or censure to expulsion from the House.