Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was arraigned on 24 criminal counts in federal court Wednesday, ranging from conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud to solicitation of bribery.
Blagojevich plead not guilty on all counts and said he would testify in his trial, which is scheduled for this summer.
The former governor surprised reporters Wednesday when he said his defense attorneys would not attempt to block prosecutors from playing more than 500 hours of government wiretapped tapes at his trial.
"I'm not going to hide behind technicalities in the law to try to block these tapes from being heard," he said. "Every second, every minute and every hour [should be] be played in court."
Since leaving office, Blagojevich has published a memoir, "The Governor," and he is starring on the NBC reality show, "Celebrity Apprentice." His trial date is set for June 3.
The charges relate to alleged attempts in 2008 by the then-governor to profit from his right to appoint a replacement to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Five hundred hours of government wiretaps captured Blagojevich in what appear to be negotiations for payment from would-be senators, as well as unrelated attempts to exchange political favors for campaign donations. His and his wife's colorful language helped fuel nationwide fascination with the story. Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois Legislature and removed from office in early 2009, based largely on the contents of the tapes.