St. Louis Public Radio News
8:27 am
Mon February 16, 2009

Illinois Republicans want criminal investigation of Burris

Chicago – Some top Illinois Republicans are calling for a criminal investigation into the state's newly-appointed U.S. Senator Roland Burris. They allege he knowingly withheld information during the impeachment trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Republicans' information comes from a newly uncovered affidavit from Senator Burris to the head of the state impeachment committee.

In January, Burris told state lawmakers he talked with only one Blagojevich aide about a Senate appointment. Now, according to Burris's latest affidavit that became public Saturday, the senator says he talked with several Blagojevich aides, including the governor's brother Robert. Burris said in the document that Robert Blagojevich asked to help raise money for Governor Rod Blagojevich prior to Burris's appointment.

Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross said he wants to pursue perjury charges.

"If you have that much of a memory problem, maybe you shouldn't be in the United States senate on a capicity issue," Cross said.

Burris said he answered the questions honestly at the impeachment hearing. He also said he made no political contributions to Blagojevich.