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Roland Burris raised his right hand in a committee room at the Illinois Capitol, swearing to tell a room full of lawmakers the truth about his appointment by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich to the state's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

With his promise that he'd made no deals to gain the appointment, Burris cleared what he called one of the two hurdles between him and the oath that would make him Illinois' junior senator. Senate Democrats raised both obstacles.

The other hurdle, the signature that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has so far declined to provide on paperwork certifying Burris' appointment, is in the hands of the Illinois Supreme Court. White has said the governor shouldn't have appointed someone to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, given the corruption charges against him.

"I feel like I've passed this test with flying colors," the 71-year-old Burris told reporters Thursday after testifying for almost 90 minutes before the committee, which later voted to recommend impeaching the governor. "I have nothing to hide."

Now Burris awaits the court's decision. It isn't clear how long that will take.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges that include allegations he schemed to sell or trade Obama's Senate seat.

The two-term Democratic governor has denied any wrongdoing, but Senate Democrats had warned that the corruption allegations would strip credibility from anyone he named to fill the vacancy. Blagojevich ignored them and appointed Burris on Dec. 30, creating a furor.

White pressed the governor not to fill the seat before Burris' appointment, then withheld his signature as a "ceremonial" stand against the move, White spokesman Dave Druker said Thursday. If the court says White has to sign, he will, according to Druker.


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