Burris: I Tried To Raise Money For Blago

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Illinois Sen. Roland Burris told reporters Monday night that he tried to raise money for then-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich before the governor appointed him to President Obama's former Senate seat.

Blagojevich, of course, was impeached and removed from office following his arrest on corruption charges, among them trying to effectively sell the seat to which he eventually named Burris.

The Chicago Tribune first reported the news.

In a prior affidavit, Burris had said that he told Blagojevich's brother Robert that he could not raise money for Rod Blagojevich because "it could be viewed as an attempt to curry favor with him regarding his decision to appoint a successor to President Obama."

But Burris told reporters last night that he "talked to some people about trying to see if we could put a fundraiser on," according to the Tribune. He said he eventually told Robert Blagojevich that his efforts to solicit contributions had been unsuccessful.

In another apparent inconsistency, Burris put out an affidavit this weekend contradicting a claim he made during testimony to the Blagojevich impeachment committee that he had only spoken to one Blagojevich associate about his interest in the Senate seat. Burris said in the affidavit he had spoken to four more people affiliated with the governor about the seat.

Some Illinois Republicans are now calling for a perjury investigation of Burris, and Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the news "particularly frustrating."

"I encourage the Sangamon County state's attorney to take a closer look at this in the interest of truth, integrity and transparency," she said.

The Sangamon County attorney's office says the Burris situation is now under review.