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February 16th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Burris on the Defensive... Again

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/16/blagojevich.burris/art.roland.burris.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Roland Burris says he never made an inconsistent statement to lawmakers about Illinois' former governor."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

There's an interesting new twist to tell you about regarding Pres. Obama's old Senate seat. As you likely remember, Sen. Roland Burris got Mr. Obama's former job on Capitol Hill after a grilling from Illinois lawmakers over his ties to now former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Well, some of his answers are being questioned and there are calls for Mr. Burris to resign.

Tonight we've got the raw politics on the Senate scandal.

Here's the critical question Burris faced last month from the Illinois legislature: Did you have conversations with Blagojevich's brother or other close aides of the Governor about the vacant senate seat?

"Give us a moment," said Burris' lawyer.
"I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed. Yes.," said Burris.

Fast-forward to today and Illinois Republican leaders are calling for a perjury investigation into whether Burris deceived the public with that statement. They say Burris failed to tell state lawmakers that Blagojevich's brother solicited him for campaign cash at the same time that the governor himself was considering whether to appoint him to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Burris has filed a new affidavit declaring, "I recall that Gov. Blagojevich's brother, Rob Blagojevich, called me three times to seek my assistance in fundraising for Gov. Blagojevich."

Of course, the affidavit was filed after Burris had the Senate seat.

The question many people are asking is if he shared what he mentioned in the affidavit during the impeachment hearing would he now be a senator?

Burris says he's done nothing wrong.

What do you think? Should the Illinois lawmakers followed up on that answer? Share your thoughts below.

Join us for this story and more starting at 10pm ET.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    When blood hits the water--–the sharks will gather.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  2. Bob

    Yet another example of another crooked politician. If he can't remember three conversations with someone close to the former governor just six months prior, he shouldn't be qualified to be a senator. This is a crucial time in our country and we need good people in place...Buris is just another hack who pulled the cover over our eyes.

    February 17, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  3. Karen- Alabama

    Burris, wanted his 15 minutes of fame now that he had it, he should just resign. The whole thing just does not smell right. It never has from the very beginning. The more he talks the worst it gets! If he truly cares about the people he's that to serve he will step down. They deserve much better!!

    February 17, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  4. Steven

    I think any upright citizen would have turned down the appointment by
    the former Illinois governor who had already been exposed for his pay
    to play corruption practices at the time. It is all about character, not
    Race. Blagojevich was clutching his last straw by playing the Race
    card, and Burris aided him. We are talking about a corrupt and now
    deposed governor who has betrayed the trust of his voters, went
    against the wishes of his party, and mocks the state senate hearing.
    Anyone who did not want to be identified with the traits of this former
    governor would have kept the distance. If Roland Burris would truely
    want to serve the people of Illinois and the cause for Blacks in
    America, he should have opted to run for the Senate seat instead. While the jury is still out on whether Mr. Burris perjure himself, I
    personally has serious doubts about the Senator's moral
    character.

    February 17, 2009 at 12:37 am |
  5. ohthesweetpromise

    I think Burris purposely withheld information, but how do you prove it. They need to set up an interim governing body in Illinois and every native person in Illinois politic world should be removed and investigated. Call me crazy though. I don't why these thing drag on so long. Shut everybody and clean house.

    February 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  6. Asbert Williams

    Burris is just like his friend the past Mayor , A crook, he should be impeached also and be jailed, one important question, why was he picked and he refused to contribute?

    February 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  7. Jim

    Let's reprise the old Johnny Carson gag "Answers Before Questions":

    Answer :"Your Betcha!"

    Question: "Would the GOP really try to make the economic recovery fail if that would help them achieve some more seats in the 2010 election for Congress?"

    February 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    He should have said something from the beginning but since he didn't raise any money for them at least for him and the office it shouldn't make any difference. He said at the time that he needed to gather all the information to be able to answer in full – I can buy that. If he answered yes the questioners would have wanted to know who he talked to, when, for how long, what was asked, what was answered – I would want to gather my notes first before I answered too.

    February 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm |