There are growing calls for a perjury investigation of Senator Roland W. Burris of Illinois after he acknowledged that the brother of former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich sought campaign fund-raising help before his appointment to succeed Barack Obama in the Senate. Burris notably failed to mention the demand in prior sworn statements.
Burris now admits that the former governor’s brother, Robert, had called him three times in October and November to seek fund-raising help.
The Illinois committee looking into the matter specifically asked Burris if any of Mr. Blagojevich’s top confidants approached him with such an offer, including specifically Robert Blagojevich.
Burris is now arguing that there was a “fluid nature” to the questions and answers. He insists that his answers are consistent. Even with the greatest fluidity, critics insist that it is hard to see how Burris missed repeated conversations with an expressly named individual. The intentional omission of such information would make for a credible claim of false information being given to the committee. No one is suggesting that Burris received the seat as a quip pro quo arrangement, but that he gave incomplete answers. Prosecutors have brought perjury charges on the omission of material facts.
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