Burris contradicts himself in testimony before impeachment committee

Not that it matters much since Illinois senate candidate Roland Burris could be discovered to have absconded with the entire state treasury while serving as state comptroller and still take his seat in the US senate. But Roland "I don't have no money" Burris appeared to have contradicted himself when testifying before the special House committee charged with looking into impeaching Rod Blagojevich:

A potentially troublesome new detail emerged about Roland Burris' controversial U.S. Senate appointment Thursday after a state House panel voted unanimously to recommend Gov. Blagojevich be impeached.

For the first time, Burris indicated that he asked Blagojevich's former chief of staff and college classmate, Lon Monk, to relay his interest in the Senate seat to the governor last July or September.

"If you're close to the governor, you know, let him know I'm certainly interested in the seat," Burris said he told Monk.

That testimony appears to differ from an affidavit Burris submitted to the impeachment panel this week in which he stated he spoke to no "representatives" of the governor about the Senate post prior to Dec. 26.

Federal prosecutors, who identified Monk as "Lobbyist 1" in their criminal complaint against Blagojevich, indicated they tapped Monk's phone in November as Blagojevich moved to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Whether the new Monk detail poses any threat to Burris' efforts to persuade Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow him to be seated isn't clear, but Republicans on the state impeachment panel see a contradiction.

I watched most of the Burris testimony on C-Span late last night and it was amazing to see him be totally unresponsive to questions from Republicans while answering the softball questions lobbed his way by Committee Democrats with no trouble. He had no opinion about Blagojevich's legal trouble but offered the notion that the governor acted badly. 

And what is Burris' explanation for this contradiction?

Burris' lawyer, Timothy Wright, said it was improper to consider Monk a "representative" of the governor -- the language used in Burris' affidavit -- since Monk no longer was on the state payroll when he and Burris spoke last year.

Burris "was talking to him as a friend and expressing his interest," Wright said. "He wasn't talking to him as a representative of the governor."

Not being forthcoming - or giving incomplete testimony - about the very thing that Blagojevich is accused of trying to orchestrate - would doom any normal candidate's chances for appointment if they were in Burris' position.

But Burris is not a "normal" candidate so you can exptect him to take his seat in the senate sometime next week.

 

 

Not that it matters much since Illinois senate candidate Roland Burris could be discovered to have absconded with the entire state treasury while serving as state comptroller and still take his seat in the US senate. But Roland "I don't have no money" Burris appeared to have contradicted himself when testifying before the special House committee charged with looking into impeaching Rod Blagojevich:

A potentially troublesome new detail emerged about Roland Burris' controversial U.S. Senate appointment Thursday after a state House panel voted unanimously to recommend Gov. Blagojevich be impeached.

For the first time, Burris indicated that he asked Blagojevich's former chief of staff and college classmate, Lon Monk, to relay his interest in the Senate seat to the governor last July or September.

"If you're close to the governor, you know, let him know I'm certainly interested in the seat," Burris said he told Monk.

That testimony appears to differ from an affidavit Burris submitted to the impeachment panel this week in which he stated he spoke to no "representatives" of the governor about the Senate post prior to Dec. 26.

Federal prosecutors, who identified Monk as "Lobbyist 1" in their criminal complaint against Blagojevich, indicated they tapped Monk's phone in November as Blagojevich moved to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Whether the new Monk detail poses any threat to Burris' efforts to persuade Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow him to be seated isn't clear, but Republicans on the state impeachment panel see a contradiction.

I watched most of the Burris testimony on C-Span late last night and it was amazing to see him be totally unresponsive to questions from Republicans while answering the softball questions lobbed his way by Committee Democrats with no trouble. He had no opinion about Blagojevich's legal trouble but offered the notion that the governor acted badly. 

And what is Burris' explanation for this contradiction?

Burris' lawyer, Timothy Wright, said it was improper to consider Monk a "representative" of the governor -- the language used in Burris' affidavit -- since Monk no longer was on the state payroll when he and Burris spoke last year.

Burris "was talking to him as a friend and expressing his interest," Wright said. "He wasn't talking to him as a representative of the governor."

Not being forthcoming - or giving incomplete testimony - about the very thing that Blagojevich is accused of trying to orchestrate - would doom any normal candidate's chances for appointment if they were in Burris' position.

But Burris is not a "normal" candidate so you can exptect him to take his seat in the senate sometime next week.