Senator Roland Burris now says Robert Blagojevich, brother of the former Illinois governor, asked for up to $10,000 in campaign contributions before Blago named Burris to the seat.
Did Burris simply forget, or did he commit perjury?
Burris disclosed the new information the Chicago Sun-Times. Burris’ statements before the appointment are riddled with inconsistencies:
In all, Burris expressed interest in the Senate seat to five people in Blagojevich’s camp, documents obtained by the Sun-Times show. He disclosed just one of those contacts when asked Jan. 8 by state Rep. James Durkin (R-Western Springs) during the impeachment hearings to name any contact he had with Blagojevich’s people about the seat.
“I’m very surprised he didn’t make these disclosures,” Durkin said. “I don’t know if Mr. Burris was purposely being evasive during the committee or had selected memory issues.”
In a sworn statement filed with the House panel Jan. 5, before he testified, Burris said he had no contact with Blagojevich’s camp about the Senate seat aside from his appointment in late December. In testimony before the committee, he added that he spoke with Lon Monk, Blagojevich’s former chief of staff. In his new affidavit, Burris confirms he also spoke of his interest in the Senate appointment with Blagojevich insiders John Harris, Doug Scofield and John Wyma.
The discussions with Robert Blagojevich about money came after Burris spoke with those people. Burris had told the House committee he was unaware of any quid pro quo dangled by Blagojevich’s camp.
Republicans already are charging perjury. Democrats so far are tight-lipped. None of this looks good.
Whether Burris’ disclosure proves actionable or not, Burris stands no chance of winning the senate seat. The junior senator from Illinios should not make plans for a campaign. He should announce soon that he will not run.