Curtain Lifting on Blagojevich Trial

CHICAGO (AP) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich sees the start of his corruption trial as the end of an 18-month ordeal that began with his humiliating arrest.

Jury selection starts Thursday, and the federal courtroom is expected to be packed.

Blagojevich told a radio audience recently that the government "is doing something very wrong" to him and his family and that it will be soon be over. The 53-year-old Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to charges of scheming to profit from his power to fill President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Prosecutors see a chance to send a second-straight governor to prison in one of the biggest political trials ever in the corruption-plagued state.


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