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Ethics Committee Granted Access to Burris Recordings

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Senate Ethics Committee may be given access to FBI recordings of conversations involving Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) and the brother of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).The Chicago Sun-Times reported that U.S. District Judge James Holderman authorized the release of the tapes in a closed hearing with Burris’ attorney, Timothy Wright, federal prosecutors and an attorney for Robert Blagojevich, the ex-governor’s brother.In addition to the Senate ethics probe, Burris faces investigations from Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Schmidt (R) over whether he committed perjury when he appeared before an Illinois House committee to testify about his contacts with Rod Blagojevich and his associates leading up to his appointment to the Senate.Rod Blagojevich, charged in late 2008 in a federal investigation alleging that he sought to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, was subsequently impeached and removed from office.

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