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Perjury Rears Its Ugly Head (Again) For Sen. Burris

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 27, 2009 2:00PM

And the plot thickens. Yesterday's development in the Saga of the Lord's Senator continues to unfold. First, the reports came out that a judge decided to release a taped mid-November 2008 conversation between then-not-senator Roland Burris and then-governor Blagojevich's brother Rob. Neither seemed that concerned. Then came word that on the tape, Burris promised a donation to then-governor Blagojevich's campaign, information that directly contradicted Burris' testimony before Blago's impeachment committee back in January. And now? The Sun-Times has the transcript [PDF - starts on page 12].

In the transcript, Rob Blagojevich insist he's "not a bullshitter" several times and Burris expresses his concern over making a donation: " has so many negative connotations that Burris is trying to buy an appointment...I'm in a dilemma right now wanting to help the governor." Burris does promise Rob something - "...I will personally do something...And it'll be done before the 15th of December." - showing he was willing to help, he was just unwilling to get caught. The other issue at hand is Burris' outright lying under oath to the impeachment committee. As was pointed out back in February, Burris altered his version of events three times. 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 his February affidavit, Burris admits to talking to three others.

This isn't the first time the perjury issue has been raised for Burris. About a week after the affidavit was filed by Burris, Gov. Quinn was among many - including Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. - who called on Burris to resign, saying, "He should look for another way to serve the people of Illinois." A week later, Quinn did a u-turn and immediately backed off Burris after meeting with a group of elected black officials who supported Burris. The question now is: with this new, concrete example of evidence, will the charge actually stick?