The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s brother solicited U.S. Sen. Roland Burris for up to $10,000 in campaign cash before Blagojevich named Burris to the coveted post — something Burris initially failed to disclose under oath before an Illinois House impeachment panel, records and interviews show.
Burris (D-Ill.) acknowledges being hit up for the money in a new affidavit he has sent to the head of the House committee that recommended Blagojevich be removed from office.
The affidavit is dated Feb. 5 — three weeks after Burris was sworn in to replace President Obama in the Senate.
Burris — who did not give money to the Blagojevich campaign fund in response to the previously undisclosed solicitation — provided a copy of the sworn statement to the Chicago Sun-Times Friday in response to questions about his contacts with the Blagojevich camp about fund-raising.
Burris acknowledged having three conversations with Robert Blagojevich, who headed the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund — and one of those was likely recorded by the FBI.
Burris’ statement offers the third version of events he has given about his discussions concerning the Senate seat, to which Blagojevich appointed him in late December, after Blagojevich was hit with federal corruption charges that included an allegation he tried to sell the Senate appointment.
(Emphasis mine.) (Via Instapundit.)
At a minimum, Burris seems to be guilty of perjury here. He’s possibly also guilty of failure to report a corrupt solicitation. But, barring any additional revelations, it’s a sure bet that he’ll never be prosecuted.
When the Blagojevich scandal broke, the Illinois legislature was poised to take action to remove the governor’s power to appoint a replacement senator. That plan was scuttled due to the intervention of Harry Reid, who was afraid that the seat might end up in Republican hands. Reid hoped that a strongly worded letter would be enough to deter Blagojevich from making an appointment, which of course it was not.
To Reid, the integrity of the Senate was a second priority to maximizing the number of Democrats in it. As a direct result of that decision, the Senate has yet another ethically tainted member. That’s a price Reid was willing to pay, and indeed it’s one he had to pay to round up the necessary votes for the “stimulus” disaster.