Saturday, February 14, 2009

New Admission Is Big Trouble For Burris

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Rob Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, solicited Roland Burris for a $10,000 contribution prior to Burris being named by the governor to fill the vacant Senate seat of Barack Obama. That directly contradicts Burris' sworn testimony before a Illinois House impeachment committee. Burris made the admission in an affidavit addressed to the House committee, which is dated February 5, three weeks after his sworn testimony. According to the Sun-Times, Burris spoke to the governor's brother at least three times, one of which was likely recorded by the FBI. Burris says he sent the affidavit to the House committee on his own initiative after reviewing a transcript of his testimony and realizing it was incomplete. Although Burris didn't make the contribution, there may have been discussions about others making them on his behalf according to the Sun-Times' sources. Rob Blagojevich says he was unaware of Burris' senatorial aspirations at the time he solicited the contribution.

What I find odd is that the House impeachment committee chairperson, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), kept secret the contents of the Burris affidavit. "Currie acknowledged receiving Burris' letter but said she was unfamiliar with its contents," the Sun-Times reports. "After being read Burris' account of his dealings with Robert Blagojevich, Currie said: 'Very odd. I don't know there is anything actionable here, but I would like to check the record.'" Can anyone think of why she would not disclose the affidavit and claim she was unfamiliar with its contents? Very strange. Will Senate Democrats open an ethics investigation of Burris now that this disclosure has come to light?

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