He hasn’t even been in office for two months and Roland Burris is already under investigation:
Sangamon County state’s attorney John Schmidt is reviewing documents provided by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to determine whether perjury charges should be filed against U.S. Sen. Roland Burris.
Burris caused an uproar by releasing an affidavit in which he supplemented his testimony before a legislative impeachment committee that asked whether he had had any contact with anyone close to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, including the former governor’s brother Rob Blagojevich, who was in charge of fundraising for the impeached governor.
Burris did not mention any contact with Rob Blagojevich in his testimony before the impeachment committee but said in his affidavit dated Feb. 4 that the governor’s brother had, in fact, asked him to raise money for the former governor before Blagojevich appointed Burris to the Senate.
In other words, Burris deliberately withheld the fact that he was approached by Blagojevich’s camp and asked for money in exchange for a Senate appointment.
Unless the Senate gets fed up with Burris’ antics and expels him, it looks like Roland Burris will be an embarrassment to the Democratic Party and the state of Illinois until at least early 2011.
Even if he’s around that long, though, there is a silver lining–this scandal should make it easier for Burris to be defeated in a primary, ensuring that the Democrats put fourth a competent Senate candidate in the 2010 elections.
UPDATE: It looks like Burris is being sent to the Senate Ethics Committee.
UPDATE II: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is calling for Burris to be expelled from the Senate.