The prosecution has rested its case in the impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. UPDATED 5:20 p.m.

5:20 p.m.: Prosecution rests its case

The prosecution has rested its case in the impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

State Capitol Bureau

5:10 p.m.: Holland takes questions about flu vaccines, prescription drugs

Auditor General William Holland is back on the witness stand in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial. He's answering written questions from senators about the audits his office conducted on the attempted importing of flu vaccines and the I-SaveRx program.

During a recent break in the trial, when senators came up with questions for Holland, some senators reacted to the surprise news that Blagojevich will be traveling to Springfield on Thursday to make a 90-minute closing argument.

Senators have been calling for Blagojevich to make an appearance at his impeachment trial, which he's boycotted so far, but some are upset about the way in which he is doing it.

"I think it will add to the information that we can consider, so I'm inclined to be receptive to it, but I do think it's somewhat cowardly that he won't take questions and won't allow us to examine his testimony," said Sen. Dan Cronin, R-Elmhurst.

State Capitol Bureau

3:35 p.m.: Final prosecution witness testifies at impeachment trial

The last prosecution witness in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial, Auditor General William Holland, is currently testifying. Part of his testimony has centered on an audit his agency did regarding the Blagojevich administration's 2004 attempt to import flu vaccines from overseas.

According to Holland, the Illinois Department of Public Health ordered 773,250 vaccines from Ecosse Hospital Products Ltd., a European wholesaler, at a cost of $8.2 million.

After the deal feel through because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would not allow the vaccines to be imported, the DPH still attempted to pay Ecosse for services rendered -- about $2.5 million worth.

Ecosse has yet to be paid, and the matter is in court.

House prosecutors have said that Holland's testimony fits in with their contention that the governor repeatedly abused his powers and deserves to be ousted from office.

State Capitol Bureau

2:55 p.m.: Governor asks to speak at impeachment trial

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, just announced that Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to seek the Senate's permission to speak Thursday during closing arguments at his impeachment trial.

Cullerton said he's recommending that the Senate grant the governor's request.

Right now, according to Cullerton, the plan is for the House prosecution team to finish presenting witness testimony today. On Thursday morning, probably at 10, House prosecutors would deliver their closing arguments. Then, the governor would present his own closing argument.

Cullerton said his understanding is that the governor wouldn't subject himself to questioning during his appearance.

State Capitol Bureau

2:30 p.m.: Rutherford: Vote on impeachment 'is very likely' Thursday

The Senate impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich could be coming to an end as soon as Thursday.

"A vote tomorrow is very likely," Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, said during a break in the action today.

Before taking the most recent break, House attorney David Ellis said the prosecution has only one more witness, Auditor General William Holland. Ellis added that his questioning of Holland would last approximately an hour.

Senators would then have the chance to formulate their own questions for Holland.

Once Holland's testimony is done, the House prosecution would make its final arguments.

State Capitol Bureau

2:20 p.m.: Senate breaks to draw up questions

The Senate impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich has taken a 30-minute break to come up with questions for Andrew Morriss, an administrative law professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

His testimony so far has expanded on testimony from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules' executive director, Vicki Thomas. The majority of her testimony revolved around Blagojevich's expansion of a health care program through the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

DHFS disregarded a ruling of JCAR that said the way the expansion of the program was being done was unconstitutional, Thomas said. She added this is the only time she knew of when an Illinois state agency disregarded a JCAR ruling.

During the break, Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, who is member of JCAR, said Blagojevich's circumvention of the legislative process was one of the most brazen acts he had seen while serving on JCAR.

State Capitol Bureau

11:55 a.m.: Senate breaks for meetings, lunch

The Senate impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich is on hold until 1 p.m. while senators meet behind closed doors to come up with questions for Vicki Thomas, executive director of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. They'll also take time for lunch.

House prosecutors just finished their direct questioning of Thomas about JCAR's functions.

"The JCAR stuff we've heard this morning is significant," Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, said a few minutes ago.

Earlier, Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, a member of the House investigative committee on impeachment, finished his testimony at Blagojevich's impeachment trial.

Senate Republicans' questions to Rose covered several topics.

Some inquiries managed to stay on the topic Rose was called on to testify about: the relationships between Blagojevich, former Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko, and former Illinois Finance Authority director Ali Ata.

But some questions ventured into other areas, such as whether state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and others should be testifying about the financial state of Illinois. Rose responded he was not called to testify to that, but in his personal opinion it would be a good idea.

Just before Thomas took the witness stand, the Senate took a brief break in which Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald met with Radogno and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, in his temporary chambers.

According to Radogno, Fitzgerald, the presiding judge, is getting tired of reading the senators' questions and he asked Radogno and Cullerton to read their parties' questions following the break.

State Capitol Bureau

10:40 a.m.: Impeachment trial resumes after short break

When the governor's impeachment trial resumed a short time ago after a half-hour break, Illinois House prosecutor David Ellis sought to address the concerns of Senate Republicans that some prosecution witnesses will not be called.

Ellis requested that he be able to answer questions from the senators at the end of the day. The motion was adopted by Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, was pleased that the concerns of the GOP were being addressed, but she was still unhappy that Ellis wwould be answering their questions at the end of the day, and not the witnesses.

Fitzgerald is now reading questions from Senate Republicans to Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, about his testimony yesterday. The Senate Democrats had no questions.

State Capitol Bureau

9:55 a.m.: Senate meets briefly, then breaks for private meetings

The third day of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate got under way Wednesday morning, but senators convened on the floor for only about 15 minutes before Senate Republicans asked for a break so they could meet privately.

They want to "reformulate" questions for Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, a member of the House investigative committee on impeachment, said Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. Just before calling for the GOP caucus meeting, Radogno had asked attorney Mike Kasper, who is part of the House prosecution team, why the prosecution was planning to call fewer witnesses than previously planned.

Rose testified on Tuesday afternoon, summarizing statements made by Blagojevich fundraisers Ali Ata and Joe Cari during last year's trial of fellow Blagojevich ally Tony Rezko. Those statements came from a federal affidavit filed in connection with Blagojevich's Dec. 9 arrest on corruption charges.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald, who is presiding over the proceeding, checked when the trial began today on whether the governor or his attorneys are in the Senate chamber. They aren't.

Later today, testimony is expected from Auditor General William Holland, whose office conducted critical audits of the Blagojevich administration. Testimony also is expected about how the Blagojevich administration largely ignored a bipartisan legislative panel, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, in implementing programs the administration wanted.

The Senate Republicans are to meet for a half-hour, which means the trial should resume about 10:15 a.m.

State Capitol Bureau