Illinois Roland Burris cleared a key hurdle Thursday on his way to filling President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, testifying under oath that he didn’t strike any deals with Gov. Rod Blagojevich to get the plum appointment.
The testimony was one condition Senate leaders — who once vowed not to seat anyone appointed by the scandal-clouded Blagojevich — set this week as they softened their position on Burris.
“I can before this committee state that there was nothing ... legal, personal, or political exchanged for my appointment to this seat,” Burris testified to an Illinois House committee investigating whether to impeach the governor.
Burris declined to answer questions about whether he would have gone to federal authorities if he’d been offered such a deal. He also declined to say whether Blagojevich should resign or be impeached, saying he has no control over those issues.