Patterico's Pontifications

2/17/2009

Burris Clearly a Weasel in Transcript, Proving His Ability to Be Great Politician

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 8:33 am



Roland Burris has a long, storied future ahead of him as an evasive, Bill Clinton-style weasel. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown says:

Sen. Roland Burris says the transcript of his Illinois House impeachment committee testimony proves he is not a lying little sneak.

It doesn’t. But judge for yourself.

The key question asked of Burris:

Rep. Jim Durkin: “Did you talk to any members of the governor’s staff or anyone closely related to the governor, including family members or any lobbyists connected with him, including, let me throw out some names — John Harris, Rob Blagojevich, Doug Scofield, Bob Greenleaf, Lon Monk, John Wyma? Did you talk to anybody . . . associated with the governor about your desire to seek the appointment prior to the governor’s arrest?”

Note that he specifically names Rob Blagojevich — the very man who called Burris three times seeking his fundraising assistance. He also names Doug Scofield, John Harris, and John Wyma — three associates of the governor’s whom Burris only later admitted he had spoken with.

Why did Burris not mention those contacts? Well, Burris recently told the public: “there were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony to the impeachment committee.”

Burris wasn’t given the opportunity??? You just saw one question where he was. And how did he answer that?

Burris: “I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes.”

Burris is then “given” several more “opportunities” to disclose Blago’s brother’s contacts:

Tracy: “You said that you had visited friends perhaps in September of ’08 or July of ’08 concerning a desire to perhaps be appointed as a senator if our president-elect was elected. And could you give me the names of those friends?”

Burris’s response is essentially: that depends on what the definition of “friends” is. He quibbles about the time frame and says as part of his answer: “I mean I don’t know who you want as my friends that I consider as persons.” He was deprived of the opportunity, you see! It was all the questioners’ fault for not being specific! Oh, here’s the same person trying again to get an answer:

Tracy: “But I think I earlier heard you today testify that in September ’08 or perhaps as early as July ’08, you had visited with some friends about your desire to seek the seat.”

Burris: “No, I think I testified that that’s when I began to express an interest in it. As I saw that –”

Tracy: “And I just was wondering who those friends were.”

Opportunity number three! Did he mention Blago’s brother? Or Scofield? Or Harris? Or Wyma?

Burris: “One of them was my law partner.”

Burris is pressed thrice more whether that was the extent of the contacts:

Tracy: “Was it Lon Monk, was that the extent of it was Lon Monk?

. . . .

Tracy: “So you don’t recall that there was anybody else besides Lon Monk that you expressed an interest to at that point?”

. . . .

Tracy: “Is there anybody that comes to mind in that light that you can –“

Burris ends up mentioning a friend of his from New Jersey.

Why, oh why, didn’t they give him the opportunity to tell the truth?

Tell me this guy doesn’t have a future as a politician.

UPDATE: Oh, man. The weaselling has gotten far, far worse.

24 Responses to “Burris Clearly a Weasel in Transcript, Proving His Ability to Be Great Politician”

  1. So why isn’t Fitzgerald investigating and probing this scandal with a grand jury? Why is this type of false testimony okay, but Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby go down for arguably lying to federal investigators?

    Chicago wants the Superbowl ring for most corrupt government and will not let Michigan get it. New Jersey, you are like the Giants this season, overrated going into the playoffs.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  2. It is racism to expect a Black Democrat to tell the truth under oath.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  3. This makes for a tough perjury charge, but an easy charge of Burris being a weasel.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  4. I don’t know how long Burris’s testimony lasted, but even in short depositions deponents commonly ask to clarify or elaborate on a previous answer. Burris undoubtedly could have done so, too, but was trying to game the system. He absolutely should be prosecuted for perjury.

    LASue (29a0ac)

  5. It makes more sense, now, why Jesse White, the third of only four black people to be elected to state-wide office in Illinois, and without a blemish on his reputation, only gave Burris 3/5ths of a certification.

    nk (e8cae4)

  6. This is all fodder for the memory hole. Chicago politics has moved to Washington. I have a post up about the car czar story. It is all about what suits Obama’s friends. Anything else is racist.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. So why isn’t Fitzgerald investigating and probing this scandal with a grand jury? Why is this type of false testimony okay, but Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby go down for arguably lying to federal investigators?

    This is state, not federal.

    Burris was born a lame duck and he’ll be out next year. The IL House isn’t going to do anything about this because they’d like the whole sordid story to go away. The last thing they want is more sunlight. Down the memory hole it is.

    Pablo (99243e)

  8. Remember, this is all about avoiding a special election which could be won by Republicans. I could imagine Peter Fitzgerald deciding to run. He was a Senator and had a falling out with the corrupt Republicans and retired. That’s why we have Obama.

    Mike K (8df289)

  9. What do you expect from a corrupt idiot hand picked by Blago himself?

    And we all know how well Blago faced up to the truth.

    Roy Mustang (776c16)

  10. Leave him alone — politics in Chicago being what they are, he’ll win a Dem. primary for the seat in 2010 (unless Obama gives him an Ambassadorship, which will then mean that Obama owns his corruption), which will make him a ripe target for a solid GOP candidate to run against.

    WLS Shipwrecked (26b1e5)

  11. This is so racist.

    JD (acbb4c)

  12. I guess that depends on the definition of “racism” as well as “is.”

    But yes, JD, it is funny how Chicago remains Chicago.

    Eric Blair (ec334b)

  13. Can we sell Chicago to Manitoba?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  14. Comment by Eric Blair — 2/17/2009 @ 11:47 am

    Roxie for Senate!

    AD - RtR/OS (58203b)

  15. Comment by John Hitchcock — 2/17/2009 @ 11:56 am
    You probably could, but you would first have to pay-off all of the lien-holders behind Daley.

    AD - RtR/OS (58203b)

  16. This whole affair is so far beyond parody. It is like a satirical account of a parody. It is ironic that, like Baracky, Burris chose to lie when the truth would have perfectly acquitted him.

    JD (acbb4c)

  17. You cannot give Chicago away until we complete giving Minnesota to the French-Canucks.

    JD (acbb4c)

  18. Seriously, now. Who expected anything different from an Illinois politician, especially one appointed by Blagojevich?

    Person of Choler (44926d)

  19. Burris is a bad joke and thankfully, is now history. Most Dems in Illinois and beyond do not want Burris either. Democrat party leaders know he was never going to be electable in 2010 and certainly not after this. Further, they do not want (and they fear) a bruising Dem primary Senate race in 2010. Most Illinois Dems never wanted Burris seated in the US`Senate in the first place but they were overruled from above because another Dem senator and his vote was going to be needed to pass the stimulus package.

    Our Illinois Republican leaders are getting a lot of good air time denouncing Burris’ ethical and memory lapses– an excellent development that is helpng raise their profile in a positive way. But believe me there is much going on behind the scenes with the state Democrats denouncing Burris and pulling strings as well. Today, several more “shocked and embarrassed” Dems went public doubting Burris so the tanks are starting to roll over him from two different fronts.

    Related to this case, Fitzgerald is a hero as far as I am concerned and is having a great effect on “outing” corrupt Illinois politics for the world to see. There are a lot of very scared politicins in Illinois right now.

    The two big Chicago papers are in terrible financial straits and barely surviving, but we all owe both the Sun Times and Tribune reporters big time for digging and getting this latest hideous Burris “affidavit” chapter out in the open.

    elizabeth (359c2b)

  20. Not guilty. In Chicago, melanin is an affirmative defense.

    Huey (9b29e0)

  21. About a month from now, Burris will resign, claiming to want to spent more time with his family, someone like Tom Dart or Patrick Hymes will be given the seat in order to avoid a primary battle within the Dem party. Edgar is smart enough to stay out of IL politics while he is still clean, and Peter Fitzgerald is likely still rightfully pissed at the establishment Republicans. At any rate, the Dems will win this seat, but it should continue to be hysterical to watch them do their best to give it away.

    JD (5c4373)

  22. Part of the job in asking questions of a person who just might be evasive is to keep asking the question. For example, many years ago, while Reagan was president, I asked a deponent if he had children. After getting his affirmative answer, I asked how many children he had. “I have a son.” After finding out that the son’s name was John, I asked the deponent if he had any other children besides John. After getting an affirmative answer, I asked how many children he had besides John, he answered, “I have another son.” This went on and on until I found out that he had 12 children in all before his answer was “I have no other children besides the ones I’ve named.” The Burris inquisitors should have pushed for answers until Burris said words to the effect that “there are no others.” Hasn’t any of these guys learned from the Clinton deposition?

    Ira (28a423)

  23. Cook County (Illinois) Clerk’s open letter to Burris calling for resignation-

    http://apps.wbez.org/blog/?p=1433

    elizabeth (359c2b)

  24. Not guilty. In Chicago, melanin is an affirmative defense.

    I thought it was the (D) after his name.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)


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