Obama’s replacement, Burris, now admits that he was approached repeatedly for contributions by Blagojevich’s camp.
Mr. Burris said that in three conversations with Mr. Blagojevich’s brother, Rob Blagojevich, last October and November, he was asked for “my assistance in fund-raising” for the governor — assistance Mr. Burris says he never provided. The senator said in addition to conversations about the Senate seat with Rob Blagojevich, he also spoke with the governor’s chief of staff and one of his top fund-raisers.
The disclosures came in an affidavit that Mr. Burris filed with last week with the Illinois House committee that oversaw Governor Blagojevich’s impeachment, and they are at odds with his earlier sworn testimony before the committee. Mr. Burris said he provided the new affidavit to “supplement” earlier sworn testimony he gave before state lawmakers seeking to impeach Mr. Blagojevich.
It marks the first time that Mr. Burris has acknowledged any contact with close Blagojevich confidants, including the governor’s brother, during the period when federal authorities say Governor Blagojevich was trying to figure out how much he could get in return for the Senate seat vacated by Mr. Obama.
In fact, during his testimony in January before the impeachment committee — just before he was seated in the Senate — Mr. Burris was asked directly whether he had talked to any person on a list of Blagojevich confidants. At that time, he cited an earlier conversation with one former aide to Mr. Blagojevich, but mentioned nothing of Rob Blagojevich’s more recent efforts seeking campaign contributions.
Mr. Burris’s aides said he had testified truthfully and to the best of his recollection before the committee, but was “unable to fully respond to several matters,” thanks to the fluid nature of the questioning. He said he had not realized his oversights until he received a transcript of his testimony late last month.
Some state lawmakers said they were outraged by the revelations coming at such a late date.
They’ll get over it – trust me.