Roland Burris clears everything up: Nothing to see here, move along

Jake Turcotte

Remember that scene in Naked Gun where that guy runs his car into a gas tanker, miraculously survives only to hit an Army tank carrying a missile (which just happened to be in the area), surviving that fiery explosion only to plow into a fireworks stand causing yet another fiery explosion?

Trying to dismiss the crowd's interest, Lt. Frank Dreben says, "Move along. Nothing to see here. Please disperse. Nothing to see here."

Some cynics might say this sounds a little like U.S. Senator Roland Burris.

Let me clarify...

The embattled 30-day senator put out a statement this morning further explaining his decision not to fess up to the Illinois House impeachment committee about whom he spoke to about the US Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Back in January, Illinois state representative Jim Durkin named six people associated with Rod Blagojevich and asked Burris if he had spoken to any of them. (Here's the full transcript).

Burris responded by saying, "I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes."

When pushed for specifics, Burris mentioned only that he had a conversation with one of the named -- former Blago staffer Lon Monk.

End of story, right?


Uh-uh. Burris sent an affidavit to the impeachment committee earlier this month clarifying his statement. Turns out he actually spoke to more people than just Monk. At least five of them, perhaps all six (including Blago's brother).

"I wish to supplement my answer with other events that I have been able to recall, to make certain the record is complete," he wrote.

There was one other detail as well. The conversation with Blago's brother, Rob? Well, he had three of them. And every time they spoke, Rob Blagojevich asked Burris to raise money for Rod.

These might just be details the impeachment committee would find interesting.

Why the sudden recall? On Saturday he said he wasn't given the opportunity to divulge those names. There wasn't enough time.


Today he said his lawyer thought his testimony might be incomplete and they needed to review the transcript of the hearing.

His lawyer was right. It was incomplete. Good thing they checked.

"When we got the transcript, it was determined that I had said 'yes' in the transcript to all those names, but we had not addressed those names," he explained. "So that prompted me then to make the decision to file a separate affidavit that would show who we talked to and what we said."

He pretty much said the same thing yesterday in a press conference.

"The 'yes' was for the names," he said. "Please, media people, the 'yes' response - I said I talked to my friends, and 'yes.' The 'yes' was for all of those names."

OK. He said, "yes."

Nothing to see here. Move along.

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