Burris responds after tape release

One-on-one interview with Sen. Burris
May 27, 2009 (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.)

"I was elated they were going to release the tapes because the feds had told us we couldn't say anything," said Sen. Burris.

Senator Burris says the feds played the tape for him over two months ago. He says the conversation with the governor's brother proves beyond a doubt he had no intent to buy a U.S. Senate seat.

"People call me all the time wanting me to help with funds. I had the fore sight because I was so much interested in get appointed to that seat that I could not get any money or raise any money for the governor," said Burris.

But what about the taped offer to write a check for the governor.

I was hoping to placate the governor's brother. After I hung up the phone it dawned on me it wouldn't be right for me to get a check. And guess what? I didn't," said Burris.

In Springfield, the tape stunned many members of the Illinois House impeachment committee who say they were led to believe by Burris in January that he had not talked to the governor's brother prior to the senate appointment.

"He stonewalled. He wasn't forthcoming. You could even say he lied," said State Rep. Jack Franks, (D) McHenry County.

"There's people charged every day with lying before Congress. There shouldn't be a lower standard for our representatives," said State Rep. Jim Durkin, (R) Western Springs.

Burris who filed an affidavit to amend his testimony says lawmakers didn't ask for relevant details during the hearing.

"There's no perjury here. There is nothing on that tape that would be personal," said Burris.

As for senior senator Dick Durbin's renewed call for Burris' resignation.

"I respect Senator Durbin but he should just wait and step back," said Burris.

And despite the resurgent controversy, Sen. Burris does not rule out a run for a full term next year.

"Do I enjoy being in the senate? You better believe I do and am I going to walk away from this information? You better believe I'm not," said Burris.

Regarding the Sangamon County perjury investigation, Senator Burris says he is still waiting to hear from prosecutors there. He says the state's attorney initially decided to decide on personal charges within a matter of weeks. Already it's been months and now there is new evidence to consider.

Charles has more on the political beat in his Precinct 7 Blog.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.