Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burris Told Durbin During Stimulus Vote

According to Lynn Sweet's sources, Sen. Roland Burris leaked the news of his new affidavit during the stimulus vote:
Burris, I'm told by several sources, strolled up to Durbin, the No. 2 Senate leader, and Reid on the Senate floor while they were in the midst of overseeing the vote on President Obama's stimulus bill, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of this nation.
Aside from Sweet's suck-up prose, this is a stunner.

Burris vastly minimized the nature of the document he filed.

Burris dropped the news when Reid and Durbin were on the Senate floor whipping the roll call for the stimulus bill, which passed with exactly the number of votes needed.

The entire reason Burris was even before the House impeachment panel was because Durbin and Reid made it a condition of his swiftly getting seated in the chamber. Burris took the appointment from Blagojevich after he was arrested for, among other things, trying to sell the seat Obama vacated.


I'm having trouble believing this was the first time Tricky Dick Durbin knew this.

The affidavit had been submitted NINE DAYS prior, and Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago naturally) had been notified by Burris attorney even earlier--on Jan. 23-- that he "wanted to supplement his testimony".

UPDATE: Mark Brown with more of the Burris transcript. Oh, the Sun Times pats itself on the back in an editorial. Fine, well done. Perhaps they got the scoop though because they were so well-connected with the Dems--and the timing was fortuitous given the stimulus bill had just passed with Burris' vote and Durbin was conveniently out of the country in Greece. I would remind the Sun Times they endorsed Rod Blagojevich for reelection when he was already facing nine separate federal investigations, when Rezko news was breaking. Let's not get carried away with the profile in courage stuff.

UPDATE: Further inquiry urged. (Haha):

Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan led a growing chorus of Democratic officials Monday calling for a deeper investigation of U.S. Sen. Roland Burris' explanation about how he was appointed by now-ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Burris has maintained there was nothing inconsistent between his testimony before state lawmakers and a recently filed affidavit outlining more extensive contact with Blagojevich insiders than he had previously disclosed. But Illinois Republicans pressed their call for a perjury investigation by the county prosecutor in Springfield and on Monday, Democrats expressed increasing discomfort over Burris' evolving explanation of efforts to get the seat.

"This is a particularly frustrating revelation," Madigan said of Burris' recent disclosure that he had contact with five Blagojevich insiders. "I encourage the Sangamon County state's attorney to take a closer look at this in the interest of truth, integrity and transparency."

Burris, who embarked on a statewide listening tour to mark his first month in office, offered an emotional defense after speaking at the Presidents' Day dinner for Peoria Democrats.

"They can look at it," he said when informed of Madigan's comments. "I have absolutely nothing to hide here."

No, nothing to hide, sure he's pure.

Well, Lisa wants his job or Blago's. Ms. Madigan also endorsed Blago for reelection. Hypocrisy and stench everywhere. And how do you like this part:

Burris began his statewide tour in Chicago by returning to a political base—meeting at a South Side church with African-American ministers. After an hourlong meeting, Burris left the church, escorted by several clergy members, including Rev. Willie Barrow, a leader of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the civil rights organization where the senator served as national executive director three decades ago. Barrow defended the senator and said the African-American community helped influence Blagojevich to name him to the vacancy.

"We put him in, and we're going to keep him in," Barrow said.

UPDATE: Tribune on the timeline--Burris blathering after last night's Peoria Democrat dinner, in part. Clout Street:

Burris was asked to give the timeline, when he understood there may have been parts he left out from his Jan. 5 affidavit and Jan. 8 testimony to the state House committee investigating the impeachment of the governor.

“The testimony was over. We thought, you know, we’d done a decent job… We then got word on that Sunday night from Sen. Durbin or from somewhere that they were going to check over the information that we had submitted, that came from the Secretary of State.

“I mean, can you all imagine what’s going on now, when the secretary of state wouldn’t sign the petition? And we had to try to deal with all that..."

Q: We watched it on national TV?

“Yeah, right. It was a lot of, a lot of confusion going on. And so we finally--and by the way, we had to deal with the Supreme Court. We’re trying to draft petitions. We’re also trying to draft petitions for the federal court. And (had) to hire all these lawyers. And they were looking at all the law and doing all this research. This is all going on and so we can be prepared to go to court in case they didn’t seat us.

“So now the timeline after that was that we did get the word on that Monday that they had OK’d my appointment, that I would come on down, I would be seated. But then they tried to get in touch with Vice President Cheney and to find out when they could swear me in, and so they decided on Wednesday, but then they changed it and said he couldn’t be available until Thursday. … This is now Thursday Jan. 15. So we went out on Jan. 15, and we stayed in Washington because I was sworn in. And guess what? I had to vote that evening. At 4:30 or 5 o’clock, I had to cast my first vote in the Senate. So now we’re in Washington Jan. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20th was (President Barack Obama's) inauguration. The 21st, I understand from my lawyer who had to leave and go to California, when he got back to the law office, that on the 22nd, the transcript of the trial (meaning impeachment hearing) arrived.

“He reviewed that on the 23rd, I think, and talked to me and said, ‘I thought you said that you had talked to the governor’s brother about fund-raising.' I said, 'Well I did.' He said, 'Well, his name was in the transcript by the, um, by by by (Republican state Rep. Jim) Durkin--we were (under) question, and we didn’t respond to that.

“I said, 'We (did or didn’t, unintelligible) respond to it?' He said, 'no.’ I said, ‘Look, we got to respond to that because that is, you know, because I did talk with him.'"

“He said, 'Well, we can prepare an affidavit, Roland.’ I said, ‘Well, let’s prepare whatever we need to prepare.’

Anything to say Sen. Durbin? Oh yeah you're fundraising, uh fact-finding in Greece. With state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Who also wants Blago's or Burris' job. Who also is a close personal friend of Barack Obama and banker to him and Tony Rezko. And Jaws Giorengo. Let's not forget Jaws.

These are not the 3 stooges. And the feds have lots of tapes. (More than the Dems thought.) Hopefully enough.

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