Illinois State Representative Wants Senator Burris to Resign

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: My next guest says Senator Burris should step down immediately, then face a perjury investigation.

Jim Durkin is a Republican Illinois state representative. And he joins me on the phone.

Jim, did he lie? Are you saying flat-out that Senator Burris lied?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE JIM DURKIN, R-ILL.: My belief is that Senator Burris did lie before the committee on January 8.

I asked him very direct questions about his relationship with Governor Blagojevich. I asked him specifically: Did you speak to the governor's brother, Rob Blagojevich? Did you speak to John Wyma, a very high-powered lobbyist, very close to Governor — Governor Blagojevich's chief of staff when he was a congressman, the governor's current chief of staff, John Harris, his deputy chief of staff, Bob Greenleaf, and also Doug Scofield, his formal communications director and a very high-powered lobbyist?

I asked him specifically about those names, "Did you speak to them?"

And he responded: I spoke to Lon Monk.

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I forgot to mention that name. That was another one of his chief of staffs, a very high-powered lobbyist.

You know: And I spoke to Lon Monk about getting more state work and also about getting appointment to the United States Senate.

I asked him that question. He took his time, responded. And then we moved on.

VARNEY: Well...

DURKIN: He initially filed an affidavit — hold on.

He initially filed an affidavit back two days before the committee hearing, stated that he did not speak to the governor, nor any of his associates or any of his staff members about the appointment.

He changes his story in the committee. And now, last Friday, an affidavit is dropped in my lap in which he states: Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention, I did speak with the governor's brother. I spoke with John Wyma. I spoke to his current chief of staff and also two other very high-powered lobbyists — the very people I had asked him if he spoke to them in the January 8 committee hearing. So, I am not buying his explanation.


You can ask him to step down. You can suggest that he really ought to step down. But what mechanism do you have to force him to step down?

DURKIN: I have — I have nothing, other than the U.S. Senate would have to expel him with two-thirds of the vote.

But the fact is, we're coming off the worst scandal in Illinois history, and he should do the right thing for the people in this state.

VARNEY: So, it is political pressure, essentially?

DURKIN: So, it will be — yes, it's political. But, you know, the oath — the oath needs to mean something in this state. Ask what these Major League Baseball players feel about how they're being treated testifying before committees that Senator Burris sits on.


DURKIN: Why should the standard be higher in Washington than Springfield?

VARNEY: Jim Durkin, I'm sorry.

DURKIN: Thank you.

VARNEY: We appreciate it. We appreciate your time. Jim Durkin, thanks very much, indeed.

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