Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Burris on tape

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Audio of the wire-tapped phone call between Roland Burris and Robert Blagojevich has been made public.
The audio was recently posted on the U.S. District Court's Web site. It details a Nov. 13 conversation between Burris and Robert Blagojevich in which Burris talks about donating to ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. A transcript of the FBI wiretapped call was released yesterday and shows that Burris feared he'd be shunned publicly if he donated to the governor while he sought the appointment.
"I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in consideration for the appointment," Burris can be heard saying on tape. "If I do get appointed, that means I bought it." Burris ends the conversation saying he'll send Rod Blagojevich a check by Dec. 15.
Robert Blagojevich's attorney, Michael Ettinger, said he welcomed the public disclosure of the audio.
"I want the world to hear my client and how he conducts himself," Ettinger said. Ettinger said it shows there was no quid pro quo and that his client was not pressuring Burris.
Burris says he wants to be in consideration for the appointment while making a donation. Robert Blagojevich can be heard warning Burris not to get his hopes up too high: "I want to manage expectations." He also tells Burris to do what he's comfortable doing.

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It is important to remember that this took place before Rod's arrest, making contributions difficult but not impossible...and everyone in Illinois knew Rod was under federal watch and that he had the reputation for "pay to play". With Burris actively seeking the Senate seat he should have been better prepared for that phone call and the sad thing is I think he was prepared, he said exactly what he wanted. His "placated" defense is not going to fly, it doesn't work for hookers and johns and it won't work for weasels. Obama pushed Durbin and Reid for him to be seated so he would have as many votes as he could get and he didn't want the "Burris Blagojevich" scandal tainting his inauguration.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 27, 2009 4:16 PM.

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