Time for Burris to tell Illinois the whole truth

Roland Burris’ Senate nomination by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich back in December was strike one. An Illinois Supreme Court ruling and a few weeks later, Sen. Burris got his second strike.

He filed an affidavit acknowledging that, contrary to his sworn testimony during Blagojevich’s House impeachment trial, he had conversations with Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, as well as three other Blagojevich associates before his Senate nomination.

Was it a lie? Was it perjury? That’s unknown, but the Illinois House Republicans want an investigation for possible perjury charges. The Senate Ethics Committee has already begun a probe into Burris’ misleading trial statements.

In the past few weeks, Burris changed his story again and again about his relationship with Blagojevich allies, particularly Blagojevich’s brother. On Feb. 5, he decided to come clean.

Burris said he filed the affidavit after reading his transcripts from his sworn testimony in the impeachment trial, realizing his answers were incomplete. What was Burris doing reading the transcripts after the fact? The trial was finished. Did he have so much free time on his hands in between his Senate duties to pick up a copy and flip through?

Either way, we don’t want to wait for strike three to happen. The people of Illinois have been through enough. This needs to be resolved now, and Burris needs to be completely up front, as he should have been during the House impeachment trial.

Filing the affidavit is the right move to make, but it doesn’t make giving “incomplete” answers in his testimony excusable. For whatever reason he’s trying to be up front now, it’s just too late.

It’s highly unlikely that Burris’ answers in the trial were simply “incomplete.” There’s no way he went into the trial unprepared. He had to have known what he was going to be asked and exactly what his responses were going to be.

That’s the reason for an attorney. Burris had ample time to get his answers straight.

There was no room for error in that trial, and now that Burris is admitting to not telling the full truth, one can only wonder what else we haven’t heard about.

And that’s not all that’s worrisome. If his answers were simply incomplete during the trial, that’s one thing. But its a completely different case if there’s some private reason behind his decision to come out with it now.

Under these circumstances, there’s only one thing left for Burris to do. Unless he wants to list being charged with perjury within a month of attaining a Senate seat on his tombstone amongst his accomplishments, he should start telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

While we would’ve preferred him telling the truth from the start, it’s far too late to go back. So he’d better start talking.