Disgraced ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) — who was kicked out of office in 2009 before being convicted and sentenced to prison for more than a decade over corruption charges — is filing a federal lawsuit claiming his removal and the subsequent ban on him running for office was unconstitutional.
ABC7 reports that Blagojevich will file the suit in Chicago on Monday afternoon.
The former governor insisted in an interview with ABC7 that his ban is a “voting rights issue” because it deprives people of the right to vote for him.
“I do feel like it’s a violation of not only my right, but the right of the people to elect who they want, to elect, to choose whoever they want to choose. Vote for, vote against whoever they want to vote for or against,” he told ABC7. “It’s a voting rights issue.”
Blagojevich reassured his wife during the interview that his lawsuit wasn’t some lead-up to an electoral bid.
“Now, I’m not saying that I want to run for anything. And there’s a good chance my wife Patty is going to watch this and I want to be clear, sweetheart, I’m not thinking about running for anything in particular,” he said.
The ex-governor then claimed he was “on the side of the angels” with his gambit.
Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was caught trying to sell then-President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat in exchange for campaign funds. Former President Donald Trump, who hosted Blagojevich’s flaccid performance on his “Celebrity Apprentice” show in 2010, commuted the former governor’s sentence, which was supposed to run through to 2024, last year.