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Convicted Governor Sues Illinois

Rod Blagojevich wants the right to run for office again
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2021 10:25 AM CDT
Felon Rod Blagojevich Sues for Right to Seek Office
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich holds a news conference Monday outside a federal courthouse in Chicago.   (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via AP)

(Newser) – This time, Rod Blagojevich is taking Illinois to court. The former governor, who served eight years in prison on corruption convictions before his sentence was commuted by former President Trump, filed a federal lawsuit Monday to regain the right to run for elective office, the Washington Post reports. That required returning to the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, where Blagojevich was convicted in 2011. "I don't like this place," Blagojevich told reporters, per the Chicago Sun-Times. "I only have unhappy memories associated with this building." He was given a 14-year sentence for trying to trade an appointment to the remainder of former Sen. Barack Obama's term for campaign money. Trump set him free from federal prison last year when he had four years left to do. Blagojevich, who's become a fan, thanked Trump again on Monday.

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Blagojevich's filing says he has no plans to run for office again, per WGN. "The very thought of doing all that again makes me groan," said Blagojevich, who was elected as a Democrat. The state Legislature impeached the governor and removed him from office after his arrest in 2008, and the state Senate barred him from seeking future office. Blagojevich wants a federal jury to decree that his rights were violated and that he's free to seek local or state office. Also, he'd like his law license back. For now, he said he's giving paid speeches and writing a book. Blagojevich suggested concern for his legacy is a motivator. "If I were to fall dead right here, my obituary in tomorrow's papers wouldn't be that good," he said, per the Post. "Hopefully I'll live a lot longer, and I can do things in my life ... where that obituary might be corrected." (Read more Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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