Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he will sue the state, claiming the General Assembly violated his civil rights in removing him from office and prohibiting him from running for elective state office in the future.
"I could legally run for President of the United States, but I can't run for alderman of the 33rd Ward," Blagojevich told ABC News affiliate WLS-TV.
"That's unconstitutional to pass a law against one person that he or she can't run for anything."
Blagojevich, 64, was arrested by federal authorities in 2008 in a corruption case. The state House then impeached him and the Senate voted to find him guilty and removed him from office.
The Democrat served eight years of a 14-year prison term before former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence in February 2020.
Blagojevich said the lawsuit also accuses the state of not allowing him to call or question witnesses at his trial, and of letting him play FBI undercover recordings during their investigation, WLS reported.
He added that people should be able to vote for who they want.
"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," Blagojevich said. "Vote for, vote against whoever they want to vote for or against. It's a voting rights issue."
The suit will be filed Monday afternoon at Chicago's Dirksen federal building "pro se"-- by Blagojevich as a citizen and without a licensed attorney.
Blagojevich is an attorney but was disbarred in 2020 and is not eligible to represent himself or anyone else.
"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 [interview] and I want to be clear, sweetheart, I'm not thinking about running for anything in particular," Blagojevich told WLS.
"But 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. It's a voting rights issue."
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