Report: Wiretaps Show Burris Promised Check to Blagojevich
In the months before his appointment to the Senate, Roland Burris (D-Ill.) promised to issue a $1,500 check to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign, a conversation captured on FBI wiretaps according to an attorney for the Illinois Senator.The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that attorney Timothy Wright disclosed the conversation, allegedly recorded by the FBI on wiretaps now set to be released to the Senate Ethics Committee.According to Wright, Burris agreed to donate the funds in a November 2008 conversation with Robert Blagojevich, the former governor’s brother. Both Blagojevich brothers have since been indicted on related charges that they sought to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Burris never ultimately mailed the check as he had intended, his attorney told the Sun-Times, citing concern over a conflict with Burris’ interest in the Senate seat.“Sen. Burris, as he said, decided he couldn’t send a check because it wouldn’t look good,— Wright told the Sun-Times.The Senator 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 prior to his appointment to the Senate.According to the Sun-Times, Burris did not include his agreement to submit a check to Rod Blagojevich in a February affidavit submitted to the Illinois House committee.The Senate Ethics Committee is conducting its own investigation.U.S. District Judge James Holderman authorized the release of the FBI tapes to the ethics panel Tuesday in a closed hearing with Wright, federal prosecutors and an attorney for Robert Blagojevich.