Illinois’ Disgraced Former Governor Tries to Make a Comeback | Chicago News

Illinois’ only governor to be impeached and eliminated from business was back at the Dirksen federal courthouse in downtown Chicago on Monday, but this time it was on his possess volition — fairly than as a defendant in felony proceedings that resulted in his conviction on charges of corruption, including attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit bribes.

Blagojevich, an legal professional whose license to observe law was revoked as a end result of his conviction, was there to file a felony grievance that would allow him to get back into another prior occupation: politics.

“I haven’t experienced a lot luck in this setting up to start off with, but I’m heading to try out,” Blagojevich said Monday at a information conference outside the courthouse. “There are significant constitutional challenges included here, troubles like the weaponization and the politicization of prosecution and impeachment, and the criminalization of the necessary, lawful and regimen techniques that consider place in federal government politics all the time.”

Though he maintains his innocence, Blagojevich is not in search of to overturn the prison convictions that led him to shell out just about 8 decades in jail, until former President Donald Trump in February 2020 commuted the remainder of his 14-calendar year sentence.

Rather, Blagojevich maintains that his civil legal rights and because of system were being violated when the Normal Assembly impeached and removed him from office in 2009.

The Senate at the time also passed a resolution banning Blagojevich from operating for or keeping nearby or condition workplace in Illinois.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talks about his prison criticism outside the house the Dirksen Federal Setting up on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (WTTW Information)

The criticism submitted by Blagojevich alleges that “preventing (him) from managing for state or community general public office environment outweighs any harm that could be brought about by denying to the voters the ideal to vote for or against him in a cost-free election.”

The onetime Democrat, who now calls himself a “Trumpster,” alleges in his criticism that he was denied the capability to simply call and to cross-study witnesses, like FBI brokers, in the 2009 legislative proceedings.

Back again then, present Illinois Home GOP Chief Jim Durkin, a previous federal prosecutor, was the leading Republican on the chamber’s impeachment panel.

Durkin calls Blagojevich’s assertions an “outright lie.”

“You can not complain about absence of approach when you really do not participate. He waived just about every proper that he is now saying that he was denied,” Durkin explained.

Previous federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer, now a handling director with investigative agency Guidepost Remedies, reported that Blagojevich has an “uphill battle” in producing his circumstance.

“This is fascinating: When he says he wasn’t ready to call certain witnesses and for that reason was denied because of procedure of law – and if it was in the court of regulation, if it was in the federal Dirksen making, that would be a very good argument, mainly because as we all know, defendants have the appropriate to call witnesses. On the other hand, this was not a felony continuing, it was not a legal continuing. (The impeachment and removing from office) was a political determination,” Cramer reported.

Impeachment is inherently a political approach, and one particular with minor precedent, Durkin points out.

Continue to, Blagojevich may well have a narrow path.

“If there was a political system that mentioned, ‘Certain people simply cannot run for office,’ we would all say, ‘Well which is outrageous, it denies anyone their thanks course of action.’ So there is a specified amount the place it reaches a federal civil rights violation, if you will, or due procedure proper, which is generally what he’s arguing,” Cramer explained.

If a federal judge does not dismiss the grievance outright, Blagojevich is looking for a trial by jury.

The former governor does not slash a specifically sympathetic figure, Cramer reported.

If he succeeds, no matter whether Illinois voters would get him back again is yet another issue totally.

Blagojevich, whose renowned bouffant experienced absent white on his launch from jail very last yr but now seems to be dyed darker and is sprinkled with grey, mentioned he’s jogging, but only in the bodily sense: he’s very long been a prolific jogger.

But he mentioned he “may” or “may not” run for business in the long run if the lawsuit paves the way for it.

“I have no plans to operate for a certain business office,” Blagojevich claimed, noting that campaigns – and his legal troubles – ended up tough on his relatives.

But he stated he is not ruling it out.

“I come to feel like I was a good governor,” he said. “I did items for people.”

Durkin reported he stands by the legislature’s 2009 actions, which include the Senate resolution explicitly banning Blagojevich from functioning for pet dog catcher, head of a community mosquito abatement district, Chicago alderman or governor of Illinois.

“We thought it was a good notion. Illinois has a very long history of corruption at the highest stages. With governors,” Durkin said.

Durkin stated he thinks the lawful action is Blagojevich’s newest plea for community interest.

“Since he’s been out of jail for a small little bit he’s heading by way of separation panic with the push … so this is just a further way for him just to produce some activity and enable individuals know he’s however out there, but also to feed what I imagine is a quite inflated ego,” Durkin stated.

A film crew was on hand for the news meeting Monday Blagojevich would not say who they have been, but just one crew member shared that he’s with ABC News, which is producing a documentary on Blagojevich established to air in the slide.

Blagojevich, who mentioned he is building revenue from carrying out video clip snippets on Cameo, a internet provider in which lovers pay for a personalized video concept from stars, is also composing a e book.

The previous governor did not surface to be familiar with Illinois’ Elected Officers Misconduct Forfeiture Act, a regulation passed throughout his Springfield saga — with him in brain — that could avoid him from reaping any profits from ebook sales if the story is focused on his legal misdeeds.

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky