The former Illinois governor accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat asked a judge Thursday to require the president to testify at his upcoming corruption trial.
Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich argued that Obama has "direct knowledge" of the alleged plot to auction the coveted seat to the highest bidder and that his testimony is critical for a fair trial.
"First, President Obama contradicts the testimony of an important government witness," they wrote in a heavily redacted court filing.
"Second, President Obama's testimony is relevant to the necessary element of intent of the defendant. Third, President Obama is the only one who can say if emissaries were sent on his behalf, who those emissaries were, and what, if anything, those emissaries were instructed to do on his behalf."
Obama, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, has insisted that neither he nor his staff were involved in the alleged pay-to-play politics.
The scandal, which broke two months after Obama won the November 4, 2008 election, scandal shone a national spotlight on the culture of corruption in Illinois.
Five of the past nine Illinois governors have been indicted or arrested for fraud or bribery and Blagojevich's predecessor, Republican George Ryan, is currently serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for fraud and racketeering.
Blagojevich, 52, is accused of engaging in a pattern of pay-to-play politics which began before he was even elected governor in 2002.
The Illinois state legislature ousted Blagojevich from office for abuse of power in a unanimous vote after the allegations came to light in December 2008.
The colorful governor skipped his impeachment trial and has pleaded not guilty to two dozen charges of conspiracy, extortion, fraud and bribery.
He most recently made headlines with a brief stint on Celebrity Apprentice, where his legendary bouffant hairdo played opposite that of Donald Trump.