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|Pressure Building on Senator Roland Burris
|Illinois House Republicans want U.S. Senator Roland Burris investigated for perjury, asserting that he gave conflicting statements in his testimony to the Illinois House Impeachment Committee and in two affidavits.
Burris filed an amended affidavit February 4th detailing his discussions with associates of former Governor Rod Blagojevich regarding appointment to the U.S. Senate, indicating he had had contact with several. In his appearance before the committee January 8th, he had mentioned just one. State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), the minority spokesman on the committee, says that warrants an investigation by the Sangamon County state's attorney as to whether Burris committed perjury, a Class 3 felony.
Burris says the answer is no. The transcript shows that Burris answered yes to whether he had been in contact with a list of the ex-governor's associates. Burris says he was able to discuss only one in particular before the line of questioning changed. He says he submitted the new affidavit, which is just now coming to light, to establish a complete record.
Revealed in the revised affidavit is that Burris had been contacted three times by Robert Blagojevich, the ex-governor's brother and the head of the ex-governor's campaign fund. Burris says Robert Blagojevich asked him to raise funds for Rod Blagojevich, but Burris says he told him it would be inappropriate to do that, since he believed he was under consideration for appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Rod Blagojevich was arrested in December, charged with soliciting personal gain in exchange for an appointment to the Senate. He was impeached and removed from office January 29th. The charges against him have not yet been adjudicated; he maintains he is innocent.
Illinois House Republicans believe Burris deliberately withheld the fact that Burris met with various Blagojevich associates, including his brother, because he needed a "clean record" in order to be allowed in by U.S. Senate leaders. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) accuses State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), the chairman of the impeachment committee, of a cover-up, since the new Burris affidavit was filed with her February 4th, and she did not share it with other members of the committee.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|02 15 09 by Newsroom
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