Attorneys for Illinois Senator Roland Burris (D-Ill.) are maintaining his innocence a day after a judge released a wiretapped conversation between him and the brother of ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
“We think that this tape will show what Senator Burris has said all along – that he was never involved with play-to-pay politics,” Timothy Wright, a lawyer for Mr. Burris said yesterday. "Senator Burris kept telling the truth, and the fact is he was consistent, and is a good and honest guy.”
The recording is of a Nov. 13, 2008 conversation between the Senator who replaced President Barack Obama and the brother of then Gov. Blagojevich, Robert Blagojevich.
The Illinois State Attorney’s office is reserving comment for now, but some Illinois Republicans are calling for immediate action based on the transcript of the tape that they say has enough evidence to warrant a detailed investigation.
During the conversation, the then-Governor’s brother told Burris, “We’re trying to get as much as we can into his war chest,” referring to his brother, Gov. Rod Blaogojevich.
Burris replied, referring to himself in the third-person,“It has so many negative connotations that Burris is trying to buy an appointment from the governor. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in consideration for the appointment.”
Blagojevich insisted, “Do something.”
Without committing, Burris said he’ll see what he could - probably through his business contacts. He concluded the conversation by only saying, “okay.”
“The senator has said all along that he will cooperate, and we welcome the release of the tapes,” said Audrey Till, a spokeswoman for the Senator.