Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) “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,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
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.
State lawmakers in Illinois, from both parties, are steadily increasing their pressure on Mr. Burris to either resign or come before a committee and fully explain himself. At least one local politician has asked Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office to launch an ethics inquiry into the situation.
There hasn’t been much public comment from other Senators on the situation yet.