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Perjury Investigation Could Be Next For Burris

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 15, 2009 4:15PM

And here we thought the Saga of The Lord's Senator™ was all played out. But yesterday came the revelation that then-Governor Rod Blagojevich's brother had asked Roland Burris for a campaign contribution. The incident occurred prior to Blagojevich's appointment of Burris to replace Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate, but Burris failed to mention the incident while testifying under oath to the state house committee investigating Blagojevich for impeachment. And now that Burris has changed his story (again), he finds himself facing calls for a perjury investigation against him.

State Rep. James Durkin (R-Western Springs) said Saturday that the Sangamon County state prosecutor's office will be asked to review Burris' Jan. 8 sworn testimony before the House panel to determine whether Burris (D-Chicago) perjured himself.

"I don't trust anything that comes out of Roland Burris‚ mouth or from his pen," Durkin said.

"We had a major league situation facing us. This is a United States senate seat that came under the most clouded of circumstances," Durkin said. "This is supposed to be about the year of reform this is about ethics and about transparency."

The new revelations came to light via an affidavit that Burris submitted to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), head of the state house committee, in early February intended to "complete" the testimony he gave before the committee. The Sun-Times obtained a copy of the affidavit as well and broke the story yesterday morning. While state lawmakers are getting testy, there hasn't been much from the two lead U.S. senators, Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). A Reid spokesman said Saturday, "Senator Reid is reviewing the affidavit," and a Durbin spokesman issued a similar statement, saying, "He wants to look at the affidavit and review the testimony." Durbin is out of the country until Friday.

Burris claims that he submitted the affidavit for the sake of transparency: "There were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony. I voluntarily submitted an affidavit so everything was transparent." It's the third story change to come out of Burris about his contact with Blagojevich prior to being appointed Senator. Before his testimony in January, Burris said in a sworn statement he had no contact with anyone in Blago's office about the vacant Senate seat. Then, in front of the committee, he admitted to talking to Len Monk. In the new affidavit, Burris admits to talking to three others. Burris contends he did not make any donation and that he did nothing wrong. Well, unless you count lying under oath.