The Slippery Senator Burris
by Todd Beeton, Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 06:03:12 PM EST
Roland Burris held another cringe-inducing press conference today, this one to address the charges that he misled the Illinois House Impeachment Committee in January when asked about any contacts he may have had with Gov. Blagojevich or people close to him prior to receiving the appointment to the Senate. During the press conference Burris was combative with reporters and embarked on some revisionist history regarding his candor when asked whether he spoke with Gov. Blagojevich's brother, Rob. Burris's new and improved affidavit admits that yes, he did speak with Rob Blagojevich; as you can see from his testimony back in January, however, when asked specifically about contact with Rob Blagojevich, he, at best, ignored the question (h/t Progress Illinois.)
Here's how he explained it at the press conference today:
Some context from Progress Illinois:
As you can see, Burris is trying to focus all the attention on State Rep. Jim Durkin's line of questioning during the January 8 hearing -- claiming that Durkin didn't give him a chance to fully illustrate the extent of his contacts with Blagojevich aides prior to the governor's arrest. And indeed, as the video we posted yesterday shows, Durkin passed up an opportunity to press Burris on this matter (as did all the committee members who subsequently questioned him).
But that's really beside the point.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Tribune said on CNN today that she suspects this is more a political problem for Burris than a legal one, since Burris may have a technical out to explain his answer back in January. Of course, that's not stopping the Illinois GOP from pursuing perjury charges and calling on Burris to resign. As for any action that might be taken by the US Senate, Sen. Reid, understandably, is punting.
He said Reid "is reviewing the affidavit and will await any action by Illinois legislative leaders after they review the matter."