Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Monday, February 23, 2009

More headaches for Roland Burris

HT to Captain Ed

Y'all remember Roland Burris, right? He's the guy that impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich appointed to President Barry's vacant Senate seat. Together they made Harry Reid, AKA the Cryptkeeper, look like a fool when he blustered that he wouldn't seat Burris. Well, Burris is in some deep trouble right now because it appears he was not as truthful as he claimed about how he got the Senate seat. He's under investigation in Illinois as to whether or not he perjured himself before the state House. The Senate Ethics Committee is also investigating him. And if you think the headaches end there, think again. Federal authorities are involved now, and the death watch for Burris has begun:

Federal authorities questioned Sen. Roland Burris on Saturday — a long-awaited interview involving his Senate seat appointment — the Chicago Sun-Times-NBC/5 team has learned.

Burris is not accused of wrongdoing, but he was questioned in the case that centers on ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his alleged attempts to sell President Obama’s former seat.

Authorities interviewed Burris at his lawyer’s office, ostensibly to keep the exchange out of the limelight Burris has recently found himself in.

The questioning, first reported online Saturday by the Sun-Times and NBC/5, went on for several hours. It likely dealt in part with conversations between Burris and Robert Blagojevich. At least one of those conversations was caught on tape.

Burris admitted last week that his lawyers were in contact with the FBI about sitting for an interview, but denied that the contact was his motivation for controversially amending sworn testimony before a House impeachment panel.

Burris’ lawyer, Timothy Wright, said Saturday: “I know for a fact that he’s not a target of any investigation.’’

Really? A state attorney in Illinois is investigating Roland Burris to determine if he perjured himself. Seems to me that falls under the definition of "target" doesn't it?

The interview comes a day after the White House sent a message that Burris carefully consider his future.

A growing chorus, including most recently Gov. Quinn, has called on Burris (D-Ill) to resign after the Chicago Sun-Times first reported last week that Burris failed to initially disclose under oath to a House panel that he was hit up for campaign cash in three conversations with Blagojevich’s brother, Robert.

The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics has opened a probe and the Sangamon County prosecutor is reviewing Burris’ testimony as part of a possible perjury investigation.

So, if he's not under investigation why does it look like others disagree with Burris's lawyer? Maybe it's because the lawyer is trying to put on a smiley face as things proceed so Burris isn't worried. But really, folks, his statement that Burris isn't under any investigation is simply asinine.

What's going to happen to Burris? That's a great question, and I'm not sure if we'll get a halfway decent answer. A lot depends on what investigators find on him. If they find he perjured himself, he'll be gone. The calls for his resignation will reach a fever pitch, and he will be left with little choice. It'll be time for him to go.

This really makes us sad. We stood by and demanded he be seated. Not because we supported him, or supported Blagojevich, but because it was within Blagojevich's right and duty to appoint a successor to President Barry's vacant seat. Had Burris been clean, then there wouldn't be a problem, but it's clear now he's not as clean as he claims he was. (Is anyone really surprised? The guy is a product of the Chicago Machine.)

One way or another, this little drama will come to a close soon, and it looks like Burris is a political dead man walking.

Publius II


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