Senate Committee Gets Recordings of Burris-Blagojevich Talks
By Perry Bacon Jr.
A federal judge in Chicago said today that the Senate ethics committee can review secretly recorded conversations between Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) and the brother of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D), who was removed from office earlier this year amid a corruption investigation.
District Court Judge James F. Holderman ruled that federal prosecutors could release recorded conversations between Burris and businessman Robert Blagojevich, who headed the Friends of Rod Blagojevich campaign fund. The recordings are believed to involve conservations about fundraising. Prosecutors are pursuing a case against Rod Blagojevich that has not yet gone to trial.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Senate ethics committee, declined comment on the judge's decision, citing a committee policy against speaking about ongoing investigations. The committee is looking into the circumstances surrounding Burris's appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
Federal prosecutors have accused Rod Blagojevich of demanding fundraising help for people who sought the Senate seat.
Burris's statements about his interactions with Blagojevich and his surrogates have been inconsistent. Earlier this year, as senators were considering whether to seat Burris, before a panel of Illinois lawmakers considering the governor's impeachment, Burris did not disclose his conversations with Blagojevich's brother.
He later revealed those conversations in written testimony, leading some critics to accuse Burris of misleading the lawmakers. Days later, he told reporters that he tried to raise money for Blagojevich, at Robert Blagojevich's request, at the same time as he was seeking appointment to the Senate.
The ethics committee opened its preliminary investigation of Burris shortly thereafter.
Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | May 26, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: iamredwolf | May 26, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sandnsmith | May 26, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: californicationdude | May 26, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: conservativemaverick | May 26, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dotellen | May 27, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dottydo | May 27, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lilmsnoitall | May 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: silusdogood | May 31, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: silusdogood | June 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.