December 31st, 2008
11:56 AM ET
5 years ago

Burris: Charges against Blagojevich shouldn't affect him

Roland Burris said Gov. Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.
Roland Burris said Gov. Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.

(CNN) - The man appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat said Wednesday his appointment to the position is legal, despite the charges against the governor.

WATCH: Burris on American Morning

Former Illinois Attorney Gen. Roland Burris said Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, even though his behavior "is reprehensible."

"I don't look upon the governor's problems as my problems. I look at the governor's problems as his problems," Burris said.

Blagojevich faces allegations of influence peddling, among other charges.

The governor, a Democrat, on Tuesday named Burris to serve the last two years of Obama's Senate term.

Obama said Tuesday it is disappointing that Blagojevich ignored warnings from Senate Democrats about appointing a successor to his Senate seat.

Senate Democratic leaders have said they will block the appointment and are urging the governor to step down after his arrest on corruption charges - a move Obama endorsed.

"Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat," Obama said in a statement.

"I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Gov. Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it."

Full story


Filed under: Popular Posts • Rod Blagojevich • Roland Burris
soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    No surprise here. race card in reverse

    December 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. rich

    Oh politics..it's so nasty isnt it? Egos, corruption, money, power, biting the hand that feeds you, pay to play, and on and on and on. No one could pay me enough to jump in that sewer. I'll live life simple & under the radar. I think its the happiest way to go.

    December 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Eric C

    I don't understand all of the concern. We now have a President-Select with no resume whose past the press chose not to investigate (everything with Obama was off-limits, including his wife and his many ties to Communist and Marxist mentors and friends). Obama then appoints a filthy-mouthed, angry, chief of staff, whom nobody wishes to challenge. The list goes on. So why care now about what the liberals are doing? To take the heat off the early misadventures of an incoming administration? It is CLEAR that is EXACTLY what is happening. Let the ObamaFest continue unrestrained!!! Celebrate!!! Because all questioning eyes are now turned towards a shady governor who, if he IS guilty of the charges leveled, is surrounded by liberals who MUST HAVE BEEN APPROACHED by the gov illegally, yet CHOSE to remain silent. Hmmmmmm....no matter how you slice it, it IS one or the other: he IS guilty and everyone who knew it remained silent, OR it is a clever ploy to keep all eyes off Obama and the Obamites.

    December 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. G in Seattle

    Mr. Burris,

    You despise the 'appointer' but accept the appointment? You are nothing but a disgusting hypocrite.

    December 31, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. gerry

    Although, Roland Burris certainly comes accross as a honest, very capable and honorable public servant, I think he's been an idiot for allowing Rod Blagojevich appoint him to this senate seat.

    No matter how clean Burris is and has been throughout his career, the smell of this Blagojevich move is going to taint him and his appointment regardless of what he or anyone else says.

    Frankly, under the circumstances, Blagojevich should also be charged for treason. The country has enough problems to deal with and didn't need this one. Clearly it was done only to "stick it" to the state democrats, with no thought as to how it affects America as a whole.

    Put Blagojevich in maximum security jail and throw away the keys for 25 years.

    December 31, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Linda in WI

    What matters most in all of this is...who do the people of Illinois want representing them in the Senate?

    December 31, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. james

    I second Tim in NC.

    What kind of logic was Burris using when he accepted this? He gave up any shot of becoming the senator. Then he says the gov is innocent until proven guilty, while at the same time saying his actions are reprehensible? Does that even make sense?. And then to use the pathetic race card is even more stupid. These are signs that this guy doesn't have much going on upstairs.

    December 31, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Owen Twelve

    If Burris really had the integrity that everyone likes to speak of, he would've refused the appointment in the first place.

    If Bobby Rush was so concerned about African-American representation in the U.S. Senate, then he should have pursued the appointment himself.

    This whole thing stinks. Democrats are trying to become the new Republicans.

    December 31, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Larry

    Sorry ... Mr Burris

    You climbed into bed with the wrong person

    Nobody that Blagojevich appoints will have any credibility, for obvious reasons

    And it has nothing to do with the one appointed

    December 31, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. TCM

    They should offer the people an election, instead of taking Blag's selection, which time will tell, is a seedling of Obama's....of course, Chicago, with it's rampant corruption, high city tax, gun ban, and every other controlling issue...would of course, run an "ACORN," style election; resulting in Obama's choice anyway....

    December 31, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Solomon in Charleston SC

    Guys! Guys! think about the situation here. The governor is still the legal chief executive of the state and has the right to fill the Senate vacancy. And, you know what, I don't think that he will ever be impeached by the state legislature because he never carried out the act for which he was accused of. Talk is just that ' talk'. The federal prosecutor jumped the gun by not waiting for the act to be committed first. The governor can only be impeached for other matters not related to this Senate seat bloo ha ha. I am not a supporter of the governor but a fervant supportter of the constitution. Happy new year!

    December 31, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Reg from Germany

    As a black person i am somewhat appalled by Mr. Rush as well as Mr. Buris statement; to include Roland from CNN and others. Both Mr. Rush and Mrs Buris are being used by Blago to set a wedge amongst democrats and yet, some of these folks are so blinded by race that they fail to se the game. In my opinion, Mr. Davis has shown wisdom by declining the offer from the disgraced Governor. On the other hand, Mr. Buris has proven to be too ambitious. The selection is tainted whether Buris and others want to see it that way or not. The senate will do right in rejecting the selection, the majority of the American people to include the majority of black folks support the democratic senate's action. being black is not an entitlement, just the color of the skin.

    December 31, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. doug

    People are sheep and mostly idiots....how many polictians have been elected by the people of the state of illionis and then faced some kind of corruption charges?

    The people chose the current governor, who turned out to be a wrong choice.....

    I say that the people of Illionis are not capable of making a wise decision for electing a public official.

    Maybe the current governor is the only one capable of making the right decision...pick a guy who is not beholden to anyone.

    The rest of congress is no better.......seeing how they want one of their buddies to hold the seat.

    December 31, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. max (NY)

    I don't care if he appoints God to the Senate seat, his appointment is just not acceptable. Anyone who accepts this idiot's appointment is encouraging corruption, insubordination, and is a traitor to justice.Because he was formally told to resign and not to appoint anyone, for his pick would not be honor; but he disregards his superiors' order. Since that Burris is said to have had a clean political record, his record has now got stained for accepting this guy's offer whom the law want to chastise for dishonesty. He has lost all power and privilege he had as governor. After he is found guilty and is empeached, Burris must follow him to jail as an accomplice for obstruction of justice. By the way how much did Burris give him for the seat. These guys got balls.

    December 31, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Craig IL Dem

    Blago has the power to appoint whom ever he wishes, This is a fact. However Burris or any one else also has the power to not except. Burris will be nothing but a thorn in the side for the Dems in the US senate. An easy target for he GOP. The Democrats that reside south of Chicago are all hanging our heads in disgust of the circus that just seems to keep going and going.

    December 31, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Ted:Canada

    Burris buried himself!

    Blago – strike one
    Burris – strike two
    ?????? – strike three

    your out!!!!

    "political prostitution" at it's worst!

    December 31, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. BW

    Matt in CT...

    Exactly 100% right! Don't even think about trying to connect Blago w/ the Messiah...that is sac-religious. But the hate filled liberals had no problem bashing Palin because of Stevens in Alaska. And for those who say that Obama is too busy to worry about his home state of IL...he hasn't worried about his home state of Illinois in the past 3+ years...REALLY! He basically went from his first day as a U.S. Senator to planning his run for the White House, you nimrods! Now you have Burris, and anyone against him MUST be a racist. Please give us all a break!

    December 31, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. a little sad

    How many of the people who are now bashing Reid for not wanting Blago's appointee seated, claiming "innocent until proven guilty" are also the ones who were the first to scream about how corrupt Blago is and that this taints Obama.

    December 31, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. VOTED! OBAMA!!! VOTED! OBAMA!! VOTED!

    I have to agree with Burris, when we make our comments and judgements on what he should or shouldn't do we must first ask ourselves if Blagojevich has been proved guilty of any charges? Then his appointement is legal by any standards and he is acting as governor of his state.

    We in America like to say "innocent until proven guilty" but do we follow it. Examples: O.J. Simpson, I believed he committed a double homocide but he was proven innocent, the Ramseys never had charges brought against them but convicted in the court of public opinion, Phil spector proven innocent but let's re-try him. etc.

    December 31, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Joyce

    Mr. Burris should reconsider his acceptance until the Blagojevich mess is cleared up. If Blago is found innocent (as an Illinois resident, I sincerely hope so) he then can accept. If Blago is found guilty (oh, happy day) he stands a very good chance to be appointed. Right now, Mr. Burris' actions appear to be that he will do anything to be a senator.

    What Mr. Burris does not seem to understand is that Blago is using him.

    Poor decision Mr. Burris!

    December 31, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. a little sad

    Im not a lawyer, but isn't "just talk" generally the evidence for conspiracy?

    Isn't conspring to sell a political appointment also a crime, not just the actual sale of the appointment?

    December 31, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Sebastian

    I'll ask the obvious –

    Mr. Burris, what did you pay to get selected?

    December 31, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Meka

    Burris set himself up to be affected, when he accepted the appointment!

    Just how much did/does Burris owe Gov. Blago ?

    December 31, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. dittohead with forty names

    Poor Blago knows his time is short and doesnt like the idea of changing from Italian blue suits to chinese made orange jumpsuits.

    December 31, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. MikeH

    Burris, shouldn't have accepted.

    By doing so, he have indicated that he is willing to participate in a corrupt endeavour, that he lacks ethical judgement.

    He has in my view disqualified himself. If he had declined the appointment, he would still be a viable candidate.

    All this is small potatoes, and is the problem of the State of Illinois. The world will still turn without an extra Senator.

    December 31, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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