Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burris now acknowledges fundraising effort for Blagojevich

This Burris scandal just continues to grow. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.

Burris' latest comments in Peoria Monday night were the first time he has publicly said he was actively trying to raise money for Blagojevich. Previously Burris has left the impression that he always balked at the issue of raising money for the governor because of his interest in the Senate appointment.

In comments to reporters after appearing at a Democratic dinner, the senator several times contradicted his latest under-oath affidavit that he quietly filed with the Illinois House impeachment panel earlier this month. That affidavit was itself an attempt to clean up his live, sworn testimony to the panel Jan. 8, when he omitted his contacts with several Blagojevich insiders.

You can read Burris' give-and-take with reporters here.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday night joined a growing chorus of Democratic officials who want a deeper investigation of Burris' comments. But she did not go as far as some, including Republicans, who have said specifically they want Burris investigated for possible perjury.

"This is a particularly frustrating revelation," Madigan said of Burris' recent disclosure that he had contact with five Blagojevich insiders. "I encourage the Sangamon County state's attorney to take a closer look at this in the interest of truth, integrity and transparency."

Sangamon County State's Attorney John Schmidt did not immediately return a telephone call for comment today.

It seems like the more Burris opens his mouth, the more he contradicts himself regarding the conversations he had with the Blagojevich campaign, resulting in the deeper hole that Burris digs himself in. The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen recommends that "Perhaps now would be a good time for Burris to think about spending more time with his family."

Perhaps Roland Burris should really consider some more family time. Because this mess is just going to get even worst.

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