The federal corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich begins Thursday in a federal courtroom in Chicago, Illinois.
The former Illinois governor is charged with racketeering and fraud, among other charges.
Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, was impeached and removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Barack Obama before he became president.
The ousted governor is accused of telling his former chief of staff, John Harris, that he wanted "a good gig" in exchange for an appointment to Obama's seat, either in Washington or with a lucrative private foundation.
Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008 on federal corruption charges.
Authorities have said that Blagojevich and his inner circle engaged in a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election.
He has denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.