Then-President Donald Trump freed Blagojevich in February 2020 after he had served eight years of a 14-year sentence, together with for attempting to promote an appointment to Barak Obama’s previous U.S. Senate seat for marketing campaign money. Leaders of each events in Illinois sharply criticized Trump’s commutation.
Talking exterior the courthouse in a grey go well with that matched his hair, which went grey behind bars as a result of inmates are prohibited from utilizing hair dyes, Blagojevich also declared his loyalty to the former Republican president.
“I’m a Trumpocrat,” mentioned the one-time contestant on Trump’s actuality TV present, “Celeb Apprentice.” As a result of Trump spared him from a number of extra years at his Colorado federal jail, Blagojevich added: “I’m grateful to him without end.”
The Illinois Home in January 2009 voted 114-1 to question Blagojevich, and the state Senate voted unanimously to take away him, making him the primary Illinois governor in historical past to be eliminated by lawmakers.
Monday’s lawsuit argues the best way legislators went about impeaching and ousting him was unconstitutional, together with as a result of he wasn’t allowed to name and query witnesses. It seeks a everlasting injunction declaring the Basic Meeting’s actions unconstitutional.
Blagojevich did not sound notably assured about his possibilities of prevailing, noting for journalists how he had acquired a C in constitutional legislation at legislation college. Due to his felony conviction, he was additionally stripped of his legislation license. He’s representing himself professional se as a non-lawyer within the go well with — self-representation that’s normally reserved for prisoners or the indigent.
Blagojevich mentioned Monday he earns a dwelling by consulting work, doing a podcast, giving paid speeches and that includes on an app by means of which celebrities are paid for giving personalised birthday and different greetings. He mentioned he’s additionally writing a e book.
Blagojevich as soon as was thought to be a rising political star for his Invoice Clinton-like means to attach with voters, however he has been radioactive in Illinois political circles for years. Particulars about his corruption as governor shocked even Illinoisans, who for many years have seen a procession of indicted elected officers heading out and in of the identical courthouse.
Blagojevich’s remarks Monday at occasions seemed like a marketing campaign stump speech, highlighting what he characterised as main accomplishments as governor, together with securing senior residents free rides on mass transportation.
He didn’t show a touch of contrition Monday, saying the case in opposition to him was all the time “a travesty of justice.” He did say he knew his status is badly tarnished, describing how he noticed an image of himself in a prison-library almanac associated to his convictions.
“I used to be in that almanac for this,” Blagojevich mentioned, gesturing to the courthouse. “It sucks.”
Prosecutors and federal judges who’ve reviewed Blagojevich’s case have balked as his claims that he engaged in widespread political horse-trading and was a sufferer of an overzealous U.S. lawyer. They are saying there was overwhelming proof that Blagojevich broke the legislation, together with attempting to squeeze a youngsters’s hospital for marketing campaign donations.