The Washington Times - January 28, 2009, 06:00AM

The Illinois Senate listened to FBI wiretaps of Gov. Rod Blagojevich apparently trying to pressure a racetrack owner to make a campaign donation in exchange for his signing legislation that would benefit the racing industry, Joseph Curl is reporting.

The state Senate is holding an impeachment trial to decide whether the governor will remain in office.

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Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell his appointment of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, is heard in the recordings calling the seat a “golden” opportunity to make some money.

There was some confusion at the start of the wiretap testimony.  Some senators thought they were listening to a recording of “The Sopranos.”

Blagojevich wasn’t in the Senate hearing room, having decided to boycott the trial in order to conduct a nationwide media blitz.  He’s trying to distance himself from his own words.  In his own words.

You know, there’s nothing in the tapes so far where Blagojevich specifically asks for money.  It’s subject to interpretation, just like he’s been saying in his defense.  He just might beat the charges against him.  And if he does, there will be Hell to pay!  And Blagojevich will be right there to collect.