Sangamon County State's Attorney John Schmidt
wants to compare the taped conversations with
what Burris said under oath before the House
committee that voted to impeach Blagojevich,
said the individual, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because the matter could come before a
Schmidt's request, first reported
in Friday editions of the Chicago Sun-Times,
comes after Burris repeatedly changed his story
about his contact with Blagojevich's friends and
aides in advance of being appointed.
It was not clear whether federal officials
would give tapes to Schmidt, but the U.S.
Attorney's office did release four FBI wiretaps
of Blagojevich conversations -- edited to delete
information the government considered too
sensitive -- to state lawmakers who ultimately
removed Blagojevich from office in January.
A message seeking comment was left for a
Burris spokesman Friday.
Burris provided the impeachment panel with an
affidavit in January saying he had no contact
with anyone close to the then-governor about the
seat until a Blagojevich attorney approached him
about it. Under questioning by the panel, Burris
also said he had spoken with some "friends" and
lobbyist Lon Monk, a former Blagojevich aide.
But a fresh affidavit dated Feb. 4 said that
even before the election, the governor's
brother, Robert Blagojevich, asked him to raise
funds. And in one of two phone calls between
them after the election, Burris said he told the
brother he couldn't raise funds for the governor
because he was interested in the seat.
Republicans immediately started pressing
Schmidt to determine whether a perjury
investigation was warranted. Perjury is an
intentional misstatement of a material fact
while under oath. Burris has said the questions
came so fast he didn't have an adequate chance
to answer as fully as he might have before the
At a Feb. 16 appearance in Peoria, Burris
told reporters he had tried to raise money for
Blagojevich but had been unable to do so.
[to top of second column]
Robert Blagojevich is the chairman of the former governor's campaign
fund -- Friends of Rod Blagojevich. His attorney, Michael Ettinger,
has said his client called Burris about raising money for the
campaign because he had been a fundraiser for Blagojevich in
Rod Blagojevich, then governor, was arrested by FBI agents Dec. 9
after being charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to sell
the Senate seat and using his powers to squeeze money out of state
contractors and others. He has repeatedly denied violating any laws.
Federal officials based their charges partially on wiretaps of
Blagojevich's home phone and the phone at the Friends of Blagojevich
U.S. District Chief Judge James F. Holderman has given
prosecutors until April 7 to obtain an indictment to replace the
complaint, although that could be extended.
By MIKE ROBINSON]
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