‘HE’S IN DEEP SH*T’…. Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) is probably still getting settled in as a new U.S. Senator. He was, after all, sworn in only 34 days ago. But before Burris finishes unpacking, it’d be best if he didn’t get too comfortable in his new job.
In the latest in a series of shifting accounts of his conduct, Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) told reporters that he tried to raise money for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the same time he was asking Blagojevich to appoint him to the Senate.
Burris said he contacted “some people” about holding a fundraiser at the request of Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, only to learn that no one was willing to help the governor. He said he later changed his mind, raised no money and contributed none.
The account to reporters in Peoria, Ill., was Burris’s fifth version of his contacts with close associates of Blagojevich and the first time he acknowledged trying to raise money for the former governor, who was arrested and forced from office on corruption charges…. Burris, who has said he spoke with Blagojevich only once, when the governor offered him the job on Dec. 28, has given an evolving series of accounts of his contacts with the former governor’s inner circle.
In general, “fifth version” and “evolving series of accounts” are phrases controversial politicians should try to avoid.
As of yesterday afternoon, Burris is under investigation by a state’s attorney’s office in Illinois and the Senate Ethics Committee. Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) has said publicly that Burris owes voters an explanation.
The Chicago Tribune has called for Burris’ resignation. So has the Washington Post. Expulsion seems unlikely, but it’s on the table.
George Stephanopoulos noted that Burris is poised to face some intense pressure from every corner, and quoted one Democratic source saying, “He’s in deep sh*t.”
I should note, no one has accused Burris of corruption, per se. The problem here is that he wanted the Senate seat, and was apparently afraid if he disclosed his contacts with Blagojevich’s office and attempts to raise money for him, Burris would be tainted by the impeached governor’s scandal. The senator seems to have decided, then, to hide relevant details, even when asked about contacts under oath.
This won’t end well for him.