Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… Speaker Madigan refers Burris materials to state’s attorney *** Impeachment committee won’t reconvene ***
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This just in… Speaker Madigan refers Burris materials to state’s attorney *** Impeachment committee won’t reconvene ***

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009

* 12:18 pm - From a press release comes still more info on this fast-breaking story…

Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan today referred several documents associated with U.S. Senator Roland Burris and his testimony last month before the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee to Sangamon County States Attorney John Schmidt.

Speaker Madigan also sent a letter to Schmidt which began “Pursuant to our telephone conversation today…” So, this is obviously more than just a blind referral. More in a bit.

Documents sent to Schmidt can be found here

* February 4, 2009 Affidavit and client list of Roland Burris
* January 8, 2009 Transcript of Testimony from Roland Burris
* January 5, 2009 Affidavit of Roland Burris

* 12:29 pm - Speaker Madigan’s spokesman just said that Madigan did not specifically ask for an investigation of Burris’ statements. Instead, Madigan simply told Schmidt that the documents were on the way.

*** 2:12 pm *** It appears that the House impeachment committee won’t be reconvened

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office… said it will not reconvene to hear any further testimony from Burris.

I’m told that the above excerpt does, indeed refer to the impeachment committee.

*** 2:34 pm *** Madigan’s spokesman just clarified a point with me. Some have wondered whether Schmidt asked for the material or whether it was offered up by Madigan.

“We initiated the referral,” the MJM spokesman said.

Also, Schmidt has just issued a press release…

Today, the Sangamon County State’s Attorneys Office received from the Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan’s office documents concerning U.S. Senator Roland Burris’ testimony before the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee.

The matter is under review by this office.

* 3:02 pm - State’s Attorney Schmidt just confirmed that Madigan initiated the referral.

Schmidt, by the way, said he would only do “news” interviews, but will not appear on commentary-type cable TV shows. Good for him.

* 4:24 pm - From the attorney general…

Under Illinois law, state’s attorneys have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute violations of the vast majority of criminal laws, including the perjury law. The Attorney General’s office does not have jurisdiction to investigate these allegations or a grand jury to use in conducting that investigation. The Sangamon County State’s Attorney has jurisdiction to conduct this investigation and prosecute if necessary.

I encouraged the Sangamon County State’s Attorney to take a closer look at this in the interest of truth, integrity and transparency, and I am pleased to learn that State’s Attorney Schmidt is reviewing the issue in an effort to fully understand all the facts related to this matter.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

88 Comments
  1. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    I think that everyone is feeling burned by Burris. If he thought it was rough sledding before, he has another thing coming. His blind ambition to be a Senator has throughly corrupted his ablilty to be truthful.


  2. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:30 pm:

    Talk about the blog that serves! I was just posting to the Burris thread below, asking for the full transcript, and Rich provides.


  3. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:39 pm:

    I love the Feb 4 affidavit: Here’s the client list, and, oh yeah, some other stuff I misled you about.

    I wonder when he decided to toss that in? Did he recently find out he was caught on tape?


  4. - Amy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    thanks for all the info rich. it’s getting sicker and sicker. talk about a person who has no shame.


  5. - Princess - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    I feel really suckered over this. I supported Burris after his appointment, figured he’d be okay but wished it had not been Rod who made his appointment. I’m ready for Burris to resign now.


  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    Durbin, Quinn, Lisa Madigan, Speaker Madigan — I think it’s clear Burris is on his own now.


  7. - South of I-80 - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    If for some reason, we have a special election on April 7th for the Senate seat, will a caucus serve as the primay?

    Just wondering!


  8. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    I wonder if Durbin is talking to his staffers that he “loaned” to Burris to get his office running. I would imagine they are soon going to be “too busy to help” and need to retreat back to Durbins office.

    This guy is out in the woods all alone, save some church leaders that have no shame.


  9. - carbon deforestation - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:51 pm:

    Many of us doubted Burris’ fitness for this job simply because Blago was the one who picked him. Bobby Rush and the politics of old were the ones who pressured Reid and Durbin to cave. Now they, and we, have all been burned and we know that Burris lied.

    Liar, liar affidavit on fire!


  10. - ProfWho - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    I wonder how this will be inscribed on his monument?


  11. - This bleeping state - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    I’m thinking the same thing that Pot calling kettle is. Burris’ conversations took place during the time the Feds were taping, and the latest affidavit already looked like a huge CYA move. What’s worse, the new comments give theoretical credence to perjury charges, as he seems to be indicating much more than a mere “Oops, I forgot to mention…” instance.


  12. - TC - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:56 pm:

    New epitaph for Burris “Takin it any way I can get it”


  13. - Skeptic Cal - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    Nothing will come of this.
    Madigan’s press statement shows only that this stuff was sent.
    If the Speaker really WANTS something, he is not shy about asking for it.
    And I doubt that some small town state’s attorney wants any part of this mess that was created by the Democrats.


  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    Shocking. Not.

    I will say this: many speculated that Burris’ self-reported $400K in legal bills was inflated. Now it looks like it was the one thing he was being truthful about.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Skeptic Cal -

    You forget, that its the Sangamon County States Attorney that has jurisdiction here. The fact that he talked to Madigan this morning indicates that he may indeed be interested.

    And if he wasnt interested before, he’s certainly in a Catch 22 now. The former gov is hated in Sangamon County, and if Schmidt fails to pursue this, he’ll face the voter’s wrath.

    Strictly coincidentally, the big winner here is Alexi. And of course, anything that helps clear the way for Alexi to run — or be appointed to — the U.S. Senate certainly benefits anyone ELSE who’s thinking of running for Governor.


  16. - Hair today, gone.... - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    Chicago Tonight last evening covered this and it was pretty interesting. Cross and Mendoza were on the same page saying Burris is at fault. Monique Davis on the other hand was a hoot! This is black history month and we should be talking about accomplishments not going after poor old innocent Roland. It was painful everytime she opened her mouth.


  17. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:15 pm:

    I wonder if John Schmidt will convene a grand jury as an investigatory body. Or will he mull the documents over himself? Either way, I can’t help but wonder if those documents contain all the information needed to make a decision. Though what that decision could be, I don’t know. Sorry, I’m just thinking out loud.


  18. - Easy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    Now it’s time to get some straight talk from Currie. Why did she sit on the affidavit?


  19. - Skeptic Cal - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:20 pm:

    Yellow Dog,
    I understand, but the Speaker sure did not put on more than a publicity show.
    S.A. John Schmidt may do the political thing that helps Republicans and just lets this simmer. The press is worth more politically than an unlikely prosecution.
    I could be wrong, but I am sure skeptical


  20. - Levois - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    Well this makes him the only adult down there. That’s not to say no one else wouldn’t have take the action he has. Might as well just turn over some information to the necessary authorities.


  21. - Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    Representative Currie and The Nine Days could be the most explosive part of this, depending on who she talked to in those nine days.

    How interesting that this all broke right AFTER the Stimulus pacakge passed the Senate with no votes to spare.

    We shall just have to see what emerges, if anything. But, Oh! - to get just a look at her phone records!


  22. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    I see that on the list of Burris and Lebed’s former clients, some of them end with a year and “-current.” This obviously means they still represent those clients. Did Roland quit the firm of of Burris and Lebed? Or did he just quit being a lobbyist? I’m confused.


  23. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: Thank you, Madam Chairman and General Burris. A few items that I wanted to clear up in my mind in regards to the earlier questioning. 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?

    MR. BURRIS: I don’t think I said in July, I said they were friends that I contacted after the election, but I was talking to people, I mean I don’t know who you want as my friends that I consider as persons. For example, when I handled a press conference to express my interest in the seat, was the press conference — I did hold a press conference and some of my friends were there, for instance.==

    Clearly had a chance to fess up and he redirects (misdirects) Rep. Tracy. She comes back and asks again, as does Rep. Currie, who? who besides Lon Monk and your Law partner. Again, the media focuses on the wrong stuff (in this case Durkin’s questions). Scroll down newspeople!!! I know it’s a long transcript, but really!

    For those of you reading along: Jan 8 transcript, start at the bottom of page 63. Burris is asked to name people and he first dodges, then cannot recall because so many people were asking.

    REPRESENTATIVE 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 perhaps seek the seat.

    REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: And I just was wondering who those friends were.

    CHAIRWOMAN CURRIE: Is that when you talked about your interest with Lon Monk? I think that –
    REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: Was it Lon Monk, was that the extent of it was Lon Monk?

    REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: So you don’t recall that there was anybody else besides Lon Monk that you expressed that interest to at that point?

    REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: Is there anybody that comes to mind in that light that you can –

    Burris finally says there were “thousands” of people contacting him and he could not hope to provide all those names.

    For Burris to claim he did not have the opportunity to share more names than Lon Monk because the questioning went in a different direction is clearly false. Rep. Tracy gave him plenty of opportunity; in fact, she practically begged him.


  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Bubs, please take a breath.

    The problem with this whole impeachment thing is it put so much blood in the water that the sharks are still biting.


  25. - just wondering - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:34 pm:

    Did Governor Blagojevich foresee this? He must have known at the time of the nomination that the feds were listening to Rob’s calls. So he puts Roland Burris in a Catch-22: Tell the truth about fundraising and lose the seat, or fudge and hope the feds don’t release those particular tapes. (Fat chance.) Senator Burris chooses Option B, creating a political time bomb for all of the people that Governor Blagojevich blames for his own downfall. (And no, I don’t believe I am giving the Governor too much credit here; no one ever doubted his malevolence toward his enemies.)


  26. - Response to Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    Just because the letter was sent on February 5th doesnt mean it was received on February 5th.

    Look at the documents. The Januuary 5th affidavit was faxed to someone. The next affidavit was signed on Feb 4th with a cover letter dated Feb 5th. It doesnt have fax marks, so it was probably mailed.

    You try mailing a letter on a Thursday in Chicago and see how quickly it gets somewhere! We’re lucky it arrived before March.


  27. Pingback ArchPundit | Burris Testimony Referred to Sangamon County State’s Attorney - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    […] Awesomeness never ends […]


  28. - Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:49 pm:

    Rich, I’d feel calmer if Rep. Currie did a press conference to explain herself and did not have Steve Brown doing the talking for her.

    It sure looks funny in our new era of “openness”.


  29. - Gob Bluth - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:50 pm:

    Cook County Clerk David Orr just released a statement asking Roland to step down– according to Hinz in Crains. It will be interesting to see how many others jump on the bandwagon in the coming hours, days?


  30. - Response to Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    Again to Bubs - Why should Currie have to explain herself? Burris could have easily sent the document to Durkin and all of the members of the Committee. Why is it somehow Currie’s fault that the new affidavit wasn’t circulated?

    Give me a break. Stop fishing for a controversy.


  31. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    Perhaps Representative Durkin can make a motion for the House to exercise its constitutional prerogative pursuant to ARTICLE IV (THE LEGISLATURE), SECTION 6 (ORGANIZATION) ,sub-section (d) which states in relevant part.

    (d) ” Each house may punish by imprisonment any person, not a member, guilty of disrespect
    to the house by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence. Imprisonment shall not extend beyond twenty-four hours at one time unless the person persists in disorderly or
    contemptuous behavior.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

    The Contemptuous behavior obviously stems from his less than truthful and complete testimony before the House Special Invesigative Committee, and the sworn affidavits presented to them both before, and after his testimony.

    This would make it much more convenieant for the Sangamon County States Attorney to question him during his first term of incarceration. During that first 24 hours; the House could re-convene and schedule the Special Investigative Committee for the following day, and subpoena Burris to appear before them and testify under oath again, as to the inconsistencies in his testimony and his pre- and post testimony sworn affidavits.

    Burris failure to appear; or answer any and all questions to him completely and truthfully to the Special Investigative Committee could represent a new offense of disrespect to the house by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its
    presence; and as such result in another penalty of 24 hours of imprisonment.

    Then they could just rinse and repeat this on a daily basis until he resigns from office, or until the end of the term appointment, whichever comes first.

    Is there any doubt that what we have seen from him thus far is disrespect to the house by disorderly or contemptuous behavior ?

    I didn’t think so!

    Attorney General; take the keys and lock him up; lock him up; lock him up, take the keys and lock him up, my fair lady!


  32. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    Black’s Law Dictionary states in relevant part: The willful assertion as to a matter of fact, opinion, belief or knowledge, made by a witness in a judicial proceeding, either upon oath or in any other form allowed by law to be substituted for an oath, whether such evidence is given in open court, or in an affidavit, or otherwise, such assertion being material to the issue or point of inquiry and known to such witness to be false.

    Sounds like Burris has a problem.


  33. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    QTS, that seems more than a little excessive.


  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    RTB, she’s the chair, she’s responsible.


  35. - vole - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    JOB POSTING: Lobbyist position available. Contact Illinois Funeral Director Association. 1-800-get-BURied


  36. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    Louis, you have to prove “willful assertion,” which ain’t at all easy. Keep in mind that this is a guy who couldn’t remember more than one or two entities on his lobbyist client list. He’s a confused, forgetful person with a whole lot of problems. He never should’ve done this. He’s in way over his head.


  37. - Easy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    Currie admitted she received the affidavit on the 9th. She also got a call a week before saying it was coming. There’s no doubt she received it and sat on it. The question now is why


  38. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rich, the man was not just a witness before the Committee, but a witness with an interest in the case, and an interest that perhaps went beyond his appointment to the Senate.

    The subject of the Criminal Complaing against the Governor; which was entered as evidence and subsequently part of the consideration of the Committee to recommend Articles of Impeachment dealt with alleged criminal behavior not just on the part of the Governor, but also perhaps of others (known and unknown) that were part of the ongoing criminal investigation. Burris testimony may have been guided not just by a desire to be seated in the U.S. Senate, but also to keep from incriminating himself in the quid pro quo issue.

    In addition; not only was he a witness with an interest in the matter being investigated, but he is also an officer of the court, and the former Attorney General. As a consequence the bar is raised even higher in my opinion as to the truthfulness; AND COMPLETENESS of his testimony.

    A subpoena of his own telewphone records during the period now in question, may reveal whom he contacted in an effort to raise funds for the Governor, and it would be of great interest for the Committee, along with the U.S. Attorney’s office to whistle some of those people in for a little chat as well.


  39. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    I got a headache trying to read Burris’ testimony to the committee. An orator he is not.


  40. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:12 pm:

    I can’t help but wonder what ‘qualifications’ Burris’ nephew had for a state job. I bet John Harris referred him to the CMS website to schedule a test…


  41. - earnest - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:14 pm:

    Rich,

    As you’ve acknowledged, Bubs has a point. I think he’s on more solid ground when he simply asks Currie to come out and speak to the question. But the timeline is pretty clear, as outlined in the Sun-Times this morning. She had it for a while.


  42. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:19 pm:

    Rich,

    Also it would be good to get some more color on this:

    {Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan today referred several documents associated with U.S. Senator Roland Burris and his testimony last month before the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee to Sangamon County States Attorney John Schmidt.

    Speaker Madigan also sent a letter to Schmidt which begain “Pursuant to our telephone conversation today…” So, this is obviously more than just a blind referral. More in a bit.}

    The way the release appears to have been written, it would cause the reader to presume that this was a proactive affirmative action taken by the Speaker in an effort to seek out truth and justice in this matter on behalf of the citizens. Given there was a conversation between the two, it may well be that the Speaker was responding to a request for the information from the State’s Attorney, rather than forwarding these under his own initiative. Thus the fuzzy clarification:

    {Madigan did not specifically ask for an investigation of Burris’ statements. Instead, Madigan simply told Schmidt that the documents were on the way.}

    He may not have specifically asked for an investigation, because one was already underway, and since perhaps we would be better informed if the clarification indicated the “DOCUMENTS YOU REQUESTED” were on the Way”


  43. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    QTS, it’s a good point and I’ve been waiting a return call from Schmidt. We’ll know soon.


  44. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:30 pm:

    Meanwhile the headlines of the top two Google RSS feeds on the right hand side here seem to have adopted a message different than that which comes from the clarification provided.


  45. - J28 - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:31 pm:

    Rich, have you heard about any action from the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee or formal complaints in that body?


  46. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    Rich, “willful assertion” and “such assertion” “being known to the witness as being false” could be defended by claiming he was a confused witness on the stand. “I didn’t understand the question” etc.

    But we have more than just live testimony here that could have confused the guy.

    When drafting written sworn affidavits with the assistance of attorneys, that is a far more deliberative process with no pressure of immediate memory issues, there is time to research and time to be reflective over who said what and when and how often and by how many people. There is no rush when drafting such an affidavit. You get to review it before you sign it. You check it for accuracy. And it was sworn through a notary. And other than Sam Adam, Jr. on 12/26/08, there were no other contacts? (Affidavit #1) He was confused when he drafted affidavit no. 1?

    I repeat, sounds like Burris has a problem.


  47. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:43 pm:

    J28 et al,

    {Rep. Jack Franks told FOX News on Tuesday that he is asking the impeachment committee that called for Blagojevich’s ouster as governor to reconvene so it can ask Burris to shed more light on his talks with Blagojevich aides about raising money for the governor’s re-election campaign.

    “By not telling us those issues, and by waiting almost a month to file an affidavit, I think he’s really opened up more questions than he has answered, and I want him back at our committee so we can ask those questions,” Franks said. “I don’t think he should have ever accepted the appointment, and I think he should resign.”}


  48. - Scooby - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    === Thank you Andy McKenna for pushing a weak candidate against Obama in 2006 in an effort to prove conservatives can’t win in Illinois so you can push more unelectable GOP candidates. *slapface* ===

    I have no idea what the above is referring to. Obama was not a candidate in 06, he won his Senate seat in 04 and the Presidency in 2008. He beat a weak candidate in 04 (Alan Keyes) but that had nothing to do with McKenna, he wasn’t head of the party at the time, Topinka was. Nor was McKenna responsible for either of the candidates Obama faced in 08, neither of whom was weak (Clinton and McCain). I’m confused.


  49. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    Scooby, thanks for pointing out that highly goofy comment. It’s gone now.

    People, if you have less than half a brain, try commenting somewhere else. Thanks. Only more than half-brains are welcomed here. lol


  50. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:57 pm:

    {* 12:29 pm - Speaker Madigan’s spokesman just said that Madigan did not specifically ask for an investigation of Burris’ statements. Instead, Madigan simply told Schmidt that the documents were on the way.}

    {*** 2:34 pm *** Madigan’s spokesman just clarified a point with me. Some have wondered whether Schmidt asked for the material or whether it was offered up by Madigan.

    “We initiated the referral,” the MJM spokesman said.}

    Something is still not quite clear here. There was a telephone conversation between the two of them and the documents were sent as a follow up to the phone conversation. What was the purpose of the phone conversation, and who initiated it? Why would someone “refer” documents to the County States Attorney; were it not for the existence of; or the request for an investigation.

    This referral was not made as part of an interesting reading list exchange at the “Book of the Month Club” Why would you “refer” these documents to a prosecutor on this type of subject matter unless you wanted an investigation and thought they would be useful for that purpose.

    Now it seems as though the investigation was requested with the referral; but done so perhaps in such a way so as not to be potentially blamed by constituent groups that may be sympathetic to the person that is the subject of the investigation.

    This issue seems almost as naunced as Burris responses to some of the questions during his testimony. Clear as mud; and perhaps incomplete.


  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

    QTS, if you had just waited three minutes more, instead of going off on a long tangent, you’d have seen the Schmidt update.

    Take a breath, man.


  52. - earnest - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:14 pm:

    Quinn may be parsing words, but there’s real meaning there. Who is trying to obscure what behind the hopelessly bureaucratic “initiated the referral”?

    “Initiating the referral” either means “requesting an investigation into possible perjury” or it means that Schmidt was already investigating, he spoke to Madigan, and then the mere act of sending documents was “initiated” by Madigan.

    Since the latter seems unlikely, I assume the former is true, and I think it should be described that way - as Madigan seeking an investigation, not Madigan “initiating referral of documents”.


  53. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:18 pm:

    earnest, if you’re gonna parse, then at least use the words at hand. Nowhere is there a quote above “initiating referral of documents.” The “of documents” is your addition.


  54. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:19 pm:

    I wonder if John Schmidt has already talked to Fitzgerald’s office (or vice versa) to make sure his investigation doesn’t encroach on the fed case.


  55. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    I take it Schmidt’s already had national talking heads calling him for comment?


  56. - earnest - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rich,

    The opening passage you quoted reads that Madigan “referred several documents”.

    So when I put “initiating referral of documents” into quotes, I was indeed telescoping two quotes in order to bring all the relevant nouns and action verbs into the same phrase, but I was hardly misrepresenting the facts.

    Madigan either did or did not seek an investigation of Burris. Why keep using such a silly circumlocution?


  57. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===Madigan either did or did not seek an investigation of Burris. Why keep using such a silly circumlocution?===

    Look, just read the story. MJM called Schmidt, said he was sending over some documents. Schmidt said OK.

    Now, is that referring a case? There’s an AP hed with just that wording. Is it just sending over some documents? That’s all MJM said to Schmidt.

    So, parse away I suppose, but all you’re doing is thumbsucking at the moment. Some of us need to call around before we engage in that. lol


  58. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    So when do we start the pool on the date of the Burris removal/resignation, and who Quinn names in his place?


  59. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===So when do we start the pool on the date of the Burris removal/resignation===

    Are you serious? Burris is like RRB. He’ll never quit.


  60. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    Rich:

    I hedged the resignation by stating removal first. I think between a state’s attorney, senate ethics committee and who knows what else coming down the pike, one of the two is bound to happen.

    Reid must feel burned. He told Burris to be open and complete with the impeachement committee. From what I’ve heard from friends who have worked on the Hill, Reid holds grudges. I’m wonder how easy of a time Burris will have a Senate Ethics Committee even one controlled by the Dems


  61. - R_K - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    As I said before (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hobcbAyZZhM), it seems pretty clear to me that Burris did lie and is lying.  My bet is that once the Sangamon States Attorney starts digging he’ll find more


  62. - Justice - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:51 pm:

    Not certain that John Schmidt has the ability or tenacity to proceed with any action against Burris. He would need a strong team to assist and unless they have been hiding I don’t know that they exist. The Republicans can get far more mileage out of just letting this play out in the court of public opinion. The applause has faded and his vote counted. He is now on his own and his political career will die from a thousand cuts by the sharp tongues of the press…..and by his own doing. The man should have stayed home.


  63. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    I heard that David Orr, of all people, issued a statement calling on Burris to step down.


  64. - Been There - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===Keep in mind that this is a guy who couldn’t remember more than one or two entities on his lobbyist client list. He’s a confused, forgetful person with a whole lot of problems. He never should’ve done this. He’s in way over his head.===
    Rich you hit it on the head with this statement. We had Roland as a lobbyist for a short period many moons ago (over my objections). He ended up being one of the nicest guys I have ever met. But his lack of understanding of the issues was beyond pale. I would tell HIM what was going on in Springfield instead of the other way around. But then, a few days later, he would report back to me the exact same thing I told him. I kept a voicemail from him for a few months, just for grins.
    His stammerings the last few days reminded me when he tried to defend an obvious (to me at least) conflict of interest with a new client of his. He just wouldn’t or couldn’t understand the problem of representing two competing clients.
    I hope the best for him but unfortunately he doesn’t realize the best would be retirement.


  65. - You Go Boy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

    Correct, Burris will never quit. He’s repeatedly stated he has no money, ergo, can’t pay for the removal of “Greatest Senator of Illinois” from the monument.


  66. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

    Wow, David Orr!?! That should bring Roland to his senses. I mean, when David Orr calls for your resignation, you’d best give it up or risk the wrath of the 49th Ward and its iron grip on Illinois politics.

    Senator Burris should be resigning any minute now…


  67. - One of the 35 - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    I agree with “Been There’s” assessment of Senator Burris’ abilities. I sat next to Burris at a downstate Memorial Day parade ceremony around 1991. I tried to engage him in a discussion of unfunded mandates and their impact on lcoal government. The guy had no idea what I was talking about. A nice guy though. His speaking style is difficult to follow and painful to watch.


  68. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:14 pm:

    {QTS, if you had just waited three minutes more, instead of going off on a long tangent, you’d have seen the Schmidt update.

    Take a breath, man.}

    Rich I had already seen Schmidt’s PR below; and read it and believe I understood it before posting; and I’m not out of breath; nor thumb sucking.

    {Today, the Sangamon County State’s Attorneys Office received from the Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan’s office documents concerning U.S. Senator Roland Burris’ testimony before the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee. The matter is under review by this office.}

    In an arena where one tries always to maximize credit, and minimize blame, especially depending upon which audience you are speaking to; this continues to appear suspect. Each effort to provide clarification has made the circumstances less clear. I just think the issue is worth an unambiguous and definitive explanation that has not been forthcoming.

    The spokesperson took the time to contact you and “clarify” that “Madigan did not specifically ask for an investigation of Burris’ statements.” . He must have assumed that based on what was published here that people might infer that, which they apparently did not want them to do.

    Now perhaps there is some other definition of “referral” as used in this legal context, that the rest of us non-lawyers are unaware of; but based on a limited research, these two definitions seemed to be the most germane:

    “Referral”
    4. To submit (a matter in dispute) to an authority for arbitration, decision, or examination.

    5. To direct the attention of: refer him to his duties.

    Based on these definitions the documents were either “referred” for the purpose of examination (investigation) or decision (establishing the foundation for a prosecution or not)and not just for the purpose of the State’s Attorney’s light reading for amusement.

    If the purpose of the was to direct the attention of the States Attorney to his “duty”, well then the result is still the same, he was asking for the investigation.

    So why did the spokesperson take the time to contact you and advise that:

    “Madigan did not specifically ask for an investigation of Burris’ statements.”

    Did you ask him the important follow up question then?

    Why did the Speaker refer several documents associated with U.S. Senator Roland Burris and his testimony last month before the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee to Sangamon County States Attorney John Schmidt; if he did not want them to be investigated? If he did want them to be investigated, then why didn’t he specifically ask for that when referring the documents?

    Again, this looks like a continued effort to nuance the circumstances surrounding how; or why thse came to be sent there, and the answer to the questions should be simple to answer in a straight forward way without parsing words.


  69. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    Also; while I think I concur with your sense on this aspect:

    {Schmidt, by the way, said he would only do “news” interviews, but will not appear on commentary-type cable TV shows. Good for him.}

    But I am curious to know if your perspective would be the same if he held a “news conference” and refused to take questions from “bloggers”, that otherwise report the news? If someone like John Kass,Mark Brown, Kristen McQeary or Bernie Schoenberg showed up there; where would they fall on the list of “approved; or disapproved” questioners?


  70. - Jake from Elwood - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:30 pm:

    I would like to hear what Rep. Rush has to say about all of this. It appears that his mock outrage was more than a tad misguided.


  71. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    I am not sure what Burris swore to but if he said the words he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth-he has a problem with that whole truth part. If I were States Attorney, I would charge him just for the fun of listening to all his self rightous stuttering babble. It’s fun to see the magic man get aggitated.


  72. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===Are you serious? Burris is like RRB. He’ll never quit. ===

    He’s reserved space on his tombstone. He can’t quit.

    This whole thing with Burris — from the weird press conference to today — has me thinking that Burris is quite dim. He doesn’t seem to have it all together. Has he always been this way? Or is this just a guy who passed his prime a while ago?


  73. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:35 pm:

    After Ryan, after Blagojevich, now we have Burris!

    Ryan was no rose garden, but he didn’t promise roses. But Blagojevich did, and instead of roses, he gave us nothing but thorns. Burris saw how ruinous Blagojevich was, and promised us roses so that he could become our senator at a time public trust was at an all time low. Now this.

    He said he was a “magic man”. He said he was ethical. Roland Burris told us that he had a legacy and a Taj Rolando mausoleum to enshrine his bones and dust after his majestic work on Earth was through. “Trailblazer”, blazing a trail we can be proud of as Illinoians.

    Instead he has been exposed as just another corrupt liar. And not a very good one either. The Senator’s presser Sunday was once again overseen by Mr. Wright, the Senator’s satellite brain for legal wrangling. When Burris waffled, dazed and stumbled over his dry lips, Mr. Wright floated in to defend the little man with the big mausoleum, like a hired bully protecting a schoolyard runt. One could be excused if watching Mr. Burris with Mr. Wright caused one to belief if Mr. Wright took a sip of water, Mr. Burris couldn’t speak.

    Senator? No. Burris looks more like a confused john caught in a police sting while wearing a pink baby doll negligee. Lord knows no one would want a senator who behaves like Mr. Burris did this weekend.

    To me, it is not about whether Burris committed what could be considered perjury. Nor is it what Burris did for Blagojevich before being named Obama’s replacement. It isn’t about the money. It isn’t about the law either.

    Roland Burris is guilty of abusing the people of Illinois after having been abused by Rod Blagojevich, who abused the people of Illinois after having been abused by George Ryan. He, of all people, know we’ve had enough - yet couldn’t find within himself enough decency to recognize that he couldn’t serve the people of Illinois due to his tainted fingerprints.

    Shame! Now resign sir!


  74. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:39 pm:

    The Senate could expel Burris, if they wanted to.

    But as annoyed as Reid may be, he needs 60 votes. And as long as Burris doesn’t start voting R, he’ll be there til 2010.

    No way he resigns.


  75. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:41 pm:

    Pat, it takes 67 votes to remove a U.S. Senator. How many Republicans want to help Harry Reid put this ugly chapter behind him? It isn’t going to happen.

    We’re stuck with Senator Roland Burris for the duration.


  76. - Captain America - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:02 pm:

    Even though we understand that Roland
    Burris lied, perjury is tough to prove. I expect thes demands for perjury investigtions to go nowhere. I agree that these lies are good news for Democrats who want to challenge Burris in 2010. Anyone but Burris will be the the victor in the Democratic primary. It’s possible that Burris is stupid enough to run in November 2010, but dismal fundraising and shallow support will doom his candidacy


  77. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:05 pm:

    Why are we blaming Burris for the ineptness we all knew he possessed? People were falling all over this guy, feeling he had been wronged by not being seated in the U.S. Senate. Reid and Durbin both said they would not seat ANYONE appointed by Blago. Had they stuck by their guns and referred the Burris appointment to their rules committee (or whatever committee it was going to be), perhaps Burris’ seating would still be up in the air. With all of these latest revelations, we could now be anticipating an appointment of Obama’s remaining term by Governor Quinn.

    There’s a whole lot of blame here to go around. The Dems for not passing a bill for a real election because (I can’t believe this) they thought they could actually lose the seat to a GOP. We all know that wasn’t gonna happen because ANY democrat would have beaten the best the GOP could have offered up.

    So we can place blame strictly onto two entities where it rightfully belongs: The Illinois Legislature for being too chicken to pass a bill requiring a special election to fill this position; and Harry Reid and Dick Durbin for wanting that almighty additional democrat vote in the U.S. Senate that they went back on every promise they ever made not to seat Burris.

    And Illinois continues to be the laughing stock of the nation - if not the world. Gretta Van Susterin said last night “What’s in the water in Illinois?” I would answer: SEWAGE.

    And Illinois is the state that produced our current U.S. President.

    I’m no longer shocked by anything political that happens in this state. And it’s gonna get worse before it gets any better becaue we voters are too chicken to clean house and vote for anyone but the incumbents.


  78. - Can't Say My Nickname - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:33 pm:

    I wonder how much fundraising Burris did to get his $300,000 IDOT contract?


  79. - friendofthedevil - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:54 pm:

    Case refered to Sangamon County State’s Attorney means: charge reduced to reckless driving - six months court supervision.


  80. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 6:30 pm:

    So that was the five page affidavit that Rep. Currie didn’t get around to reading. I timed it, it took me all of three and a half minutes to get through.


  81. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 7:10 pm:

    ==He’s a confused, forgetful person with a whole lot of problems. He never should’ve done this. He’s in way over his head.==

    Rich, I’ve been waiting for someone to say that. I haven’t talked to the man in 20 years. It sounds to me like you’re saying he’s slipping into dementia. According to Mary Mitchell, a lot of folks were saying that on the radio this weekend.

    If that’s the case, the people who’ve been putting him up and propping him up during this process are despicable.

    Don’t get me wrong — I knew Burris 20 years ago when he certainly had all his marbles and I wouldn’t have voted for him for dogcatcher.

    But if any of you have been through the experience of someone close to you losing it, this whole affair makes some sense: Mabye he has his stuff together 70 percent of the time, but then he’s forgetful, confused and lost 30 percent of the time.

    And it never gets better. Believe me, at a point in the near future, it’s going to go downhill in a hurry.

    I was never a fan or supporter of the dude. But it’s quite possible that he’s not really of the mind to be starting in the NFL. I hope those who claim to love and support him have that in mind in the coming days.


  82. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 7:55 pm:

    Bubs and the rest, if you think the stimulus bill in the Senate was profoundly historic, I suggest you read your history.

    If you think Roland Burris held the fate of the Republic in his hands with his vote, necessitating a deep, dark conspiracy by others, I’d suggest the following:

    1. They could have brought in Kennedy from Palm Beach.

    2. If Burris wasn’t the 60th vote, believe me, there were a half dozen GOP Senators who would have gladly flipped to be the 60th vote for future consideration.

    3. It could have failed and they could have started again the next day and produced a slightly different bill that would have passed both houses.

    We’re being a wee bit narcissistic in Illinois about our dysfunction, aren’t we?


  83. - Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:01 pm:

    Judging by the over-heated responses, and my repeatedly deleted posts on this thread responding to people like Wordslinger, we sure have hit some sort of a nerve, haven’t we?


  84. - Bubs - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:06 pm:

    Why did it take the Nine Days (for real this time)?
    Who knew about that affidavit (and when) before it was spilled by the Sun-Times?
    Who was talking to Currie about that Affidavit during the Nine Days?

    Questions, questions!


  85. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:31 pm:

    After watching Rep. Mendoza rip Burris on WTTW tonight, she brought up a good point everyone has failed to mention. Burris is a former Attorney General who should know the difference between truth and . . . er . . . untruths.

    On the issue of intent, his background and prior offices certainly won’t save him. He was no confused carpenter with a H.S. education.

    Sounds like Burris has a problem here. Sorry to keep repeating it. But a lot of things just seem to have a knack for falling into place concerning his sworn affidavits and sworn testimony.


  86. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:35 pm:

    Bubs, you haven’t hit a nerve, you’ve gone around the bend.

    just sayin…


  87. - Bubs - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 12:42 am:

    I really don’t get this. A few fairly obvious questions, ones that others are asking, and suddenly its attacks, deleted posts and disparagement. Interesting.


  88. - Larry Mullholland - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    Bubs FYI

    Pages 964 & 965 of the transcript

    Lou Lang to Durkin
    Line 13 & 14
    …you have a loop you want to close “Close it up. Otherwise, lets move on…”

    Page 966 Line 18
    Currie to Durkin
    “Lets move on… Finish this line of questioning quite quickly..

    Durkin was attempting to show a historical financial Burris/Blago relationship that benefited Blago and was rushed along by Leaders Currie & Lang

    Just sayin…


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