Here's how the question and answer session went when U.S. Sen. Roland Burris testified under oath before a House impeachment panel on Jan. 8.
Burris changed his answer Feb. 5 in a quietly filed affidavit. In a statement to us, Burris said he wasn't given the opportunity to fully answer the question before the House panel -- so he amended it Feb. 5.
But a look at the transcript shows questioning specifically asked Burris whether he spoke to certain people in Blagojevich's inner circle. Burris was asked if he spoke with John Wyma, Robert Blagojevich, Lon Monk or Doug Scofield. Burris takes a moment to confer with his lawyer, Timothy Wright. He then mentions Monk. Conversations about fund-raising don't come up. In his new affidavit, they do. And he says he told all the people above about his interest in the Senate seat.
REPRESENTATIVE 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 who was associated with the
Governor about your desire to seek the appointment
prior to the Governor's arrest?
MR. WRIGHT: Give us a moment.
MR. BURRIS: I talked to some friends about
my desire to be appointed, yes.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I guess the point is
I was trying to ask, did you speak to anybody who was
on the Governor's staff prior to the Governor's arrest
or anybody, any of those individuals or anybody who is closely related to the Governor?
MR. BURRIS: I recall having a meeting with
Lon Monk about my partner and I trying to get
continued business, and I did bring it up, it must
have been in September or maybe it was in July of '08
that, you know, you're close to the Governor, let him
know that I am certainly interested in the seat.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. Did you speak
to any individuals who -- any individuals who were
also seeking the appointment of the United States
Senate seat, otherwise people we've referred to as
Senate candidates one through five?
MR. BURRIS: No, I did not.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. At any time
were you directly or indirectly aware of a quid pro
quo with the Governor for the appointment of this
vacant Senate seat?
MR. BURRIS: No, sir.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. If you were
aware of a quit pro quo, what would you have done?
MR. WRIGHT: Madam Chairman, I think that
calls for a -- that's a hypothetical question that I
don't think that what he would have done, it could
have depended. I don't think that's an appropriate question.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I disagree. I think
that it is highly relevant. You're speaking to the
committee, but you're also speaking to the state of
Illinois. I think it's important to know what his
response would have been if he was aware of a quid pro
quo with the Governor and also for the appointment.
CHAIRWOMAN CURRIE: Representative Fritchey.
REPRESENTATIVE FRITCHEY: Madam Chairman, if
I may, Mr. Burris had already stated that he was not
aware of any quid pro quo, which answers that question
and puts it to rest. What his response would have
been had there been something, which he stated did not
occur, is clearly irrelevant to this, and according to
Mr. Burris, to speculate on something that would have
happened if another situation had happened which he
clearly says has not.
Representative Durkin, I'm not trying to stifle
you whatsoever, and I understand the generalities
where you're trying to go. But again, I think that
we're outside the realm here of what's germane to this
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I think it's germane,
and I think in the conduct of this committee over the past month that we've been given significant leeway to
try to find responses to individuals who are sworn in
before this committee, and I think that it's a
reasonable request to ask what would have been Mr.
Burris's response if he was aware of a quid pro quo
for the United States Senate seat.
REPRESENTATIVE FRITCHEY: But the leeway has
been with response to representatives on behalf of the
Governor and the Governor's administration, not with
respect to third parties who have clearly stated that
they've had no involvement with those actions.
MR. WRIGHT: Representative, Senator Burris
wants to be clear and open, so to the extent you're
asking him to speculate, he'll try to respond to that.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Thank you.
MR. BURRIS: Representative Durkin, knowing
my ethics, I would not participate in anybody's quid
pro quo. I've been in government for 20 years and
never participated in anybody's quid pro quo.
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I guess the point is
would you have gone to the federal authorities if you
were aware of that?
MR. BURRIS: I have no response to that.