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Ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleads not guilty to revised charges

CHICAGO — Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has again pleaded not guilty to federal charges that accuse him of scheming to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat and swap official favors for campaign money.

The Illinois Democrat appeared in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday to answer to a revised batch of charges. After Blagojevich's plea, U.S. District Judge James Zagel set a March 17 status hearing in the case.

The new indictment doesn't contain any new allegations of misconduct.

Prosecutors revised the charges in an attempt to ensure that a legal challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't delay Blagojevich's trial. That dispute involves a federal law that allows charges of denying taxpayers the right to "honest services." The charge appears throughout the previous indictment against Blagojevich.