CHICAGO - The Illinois Senate yesterday opened its historic impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich as the governor took to the national airwaves in a series of talk-show and news interviews, in which he proclaimed his innocence on corruption charges and argued lawmakers want him out so they can raise taxes.

Lawmakers said the trial could be wrapped up by the end of the week, given the governor's refusal to defend himself either in person or with legal representation. With the state facing a growing budget deficit, lawmakers said they must act so the state can "move beyond the immense challenges we face," Senate Republican Minority Leader Christine Rodogno of Lemont said at the start of the trial.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.