Burris tried to raise funds for Blagojevich

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U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., now acknowledges attempting to raise money for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich – an explosive twist in his ever-changing story on how he landed a coveted Senate appointment from the man accused of trying to sell the seat.

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., now acknowledges attempting to raise money for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich – an explosive twist in his ever-changing story on how he landed a coveted Senate appointment from the man accused of trying to sell the seat.

Burris made the admission to reporters on Monday, after releasing an affidavit over the weekend saying he had more contact with Blagojevich aides about the Senate seat than he had described under oath to the state House panel that recommended Blagojevich’s impeachment. The Democrat also said in the affidavit, but not before the panel, that the governor’s brother asked him for fundraising help.

Though Burris insists he never raised money for Blagojevich while the governor was considering whom to appoint to the seat President Barack Obama vacated, the revelation that he had attempted to do so is likely to increase calls for Burris’ resignation and an investigation into whether he committed perjury before the panel. Illinois Democrats have forwarded documents related to Burris’ testimony to a county prosecutor for review.

Burris would not answer questions Tuesday in Peoria about his attempts to raise funds for Blagojevich but said he didn’t do anything wrong and encouraged officials to look into the matter.

“I welcome the opportunity to go before any and all investigative bodies, including those referred by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Senate ethics committee to answer any questions they have,” he told reporters Tuesday.

After an event Monday night in Peoria, Burris told reporters that he had reached out to friends after Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, called him before President Barack Obama’s election asking him to raise $10,000 or $15,000 for the governor.

“So some time shortly after Obama was elected, the brother called,” Burris said, according to a transcript posted on a local news Website. “And now in the meantime, I’d talked to some people about trying to see if we could put a fundraiser on. Nobody was – they said, ‘We aren’t giving money to the governor.’ And I said, ‘OK, you know, I can’t tell them what to do with their money.’"

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