Rod Blagojevich says he would take 5th in riverboat casino suit

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich would assert his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination if asked to testify in a civil lawsuit spurred by his federal corruption indictment, one of his lawyers confirmed Thursday.

Blagojevich would claim his constitutional right in the lawsuit involving a battle over millions of dollars between casinos and racetracks, attorney Jay Edelson said.

Edelson also said the former governor would assert legislative privilege _ designed to protect lawmakers and other officials from being bombarded by suits over legislation.

Reached by telephone Thursday night, Edelson said U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, who is presiding over the lawsuit, has been informed in an e-mail from the former governor's attorneys of Blagojevich's position.

Governor Blagojevich desperately wants to tell his story; he wants the truth to come out”

— Jay Edelson, Rod Blagojevich's lawyer