December 31st, 2008
11:56 AM ET
9 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. tim

    CNN, Instead of talking about his crap, why aren't you posting real stories that people can talk about....

    For instance, why don't you post about these groups of Iranian students who sent a letter to the Iranian Government asking to call for volunteers to be suicide bombers to go to Israel and cause havoc.

    Play on both sides of the field, CNN. You did these lop-sided, crap stories all year long, especially during the political campaigns.

    December 31, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Mike in Columbus

    I find it hilarious some of the things the Obama haters spew. I love reading their posts. Don't let me down haters... lets hear some more ignorant BS... you've done so well so far!

    December 31, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. John McCain

    Roland is just a kid.

    December 31, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Karen

    Jerk! Burris is an example of the unethical and dirty politics of IL. He is empowering and enabling the scum of a governor by agreeing to this appointment. Anyone with a brain would realize what this acceptance means, but Burris is also so corrupt and unethical that he has had no second thoughts about creating a bigger problem. This kind of character should also be rejected and ostracized for he will also turn out to be a no-gooder. Anyone would morals would stay as far away from Bllago at this time, not to be further beholden to him. Baloney, if Burris claims he is just trying to help the state and put all the problems behind – in fact, he is making it gigantic. Go away Burris, you are already toast.

    December 31, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Danny, OH

    Another idiot

    December 31, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. TobyToo

    Law should prevail. I can't say it any clearer than Toby in Illinois. Toby for guv!

    December 31, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. chuck

    Mr. Burris, let's show some common sense here. Were you not watching the news lately? If your Governor is found guilty of the crimes he is being charged with then your senate seat would have to be forfeited. By you accepting the Senate seat at this time of upheaval in Illinois you really show that you do not deserve the seat, nor should you be seated. I truly hope that we get a senator with some common sense and dignity to balance the lack of we have seen so far.

    December 31, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. Don Fitzgerald, Chicago

    I wish people would do their homework, regarding the duties and responsibilities of an elected official; a Governor. In Illinois, he has the obligation to appoint. He is still the Governor and, the last time I looked, we were still in America !! You know, that place, that has always championed the tradition, or should I call it, a slogan, of a person is: Innocent, until proven guilty !! The media lynching Governor Blagojevich is experiencing, is unprecedented in my years of political observations !! We have an Attorney General, who is the daughter of the Speaker of the Illinois House. She is the one that went before the Illinois Supreme Court and tried to undo an election, based on a grandstanding U.S. Attorney's " charges " and her own expert psychological evaluations of the Governor's mental capabilities. What nobody is talking about, is the long standing feud between the Speaker of the Illinois House, Mike Madigan and his iron-fisted control over the majority, the Democrats, in that body, and his unwillingness to work with the Governor, on Illinois matters. Why hasn't the entire story been told, because it isn't the distraction a "rogue" Illinois politician can be !! There are your cheap and superficial headlines !! Anything to distract the nation from the Republican mess, we find ourselves in, due to the incompetence and malfeasance of the Bush/ Cheney regimes !!

    December 31, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. John in Ohio

    Listen dummy, you accepted a job offer from a guy viewed as toxic by everybody with any credibility in his party and out of it. By accepting it, you got yourself dirty. People are wondering how much you paid for that nod from Blago. Who really thinks that Blago was willing to just give away the seat so somebody for nothing, when he was trying to get so much for it?

    It's a tainted governor. It's a tainted appointment. Burris may be a saint but he was a moron to accept the offer and it shows a weakness of character and a lack of judgement.

    December 31, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Danny in Chicago

    I agree with Tim in NC – Mr. Burris should have recognized the situation with this appointment and refused it, therefore putting him in contention for the actual seat when it's actually appointed. By accepting what Blago appoints only makes Burris look shady and a part of this whole corruption scandel. It also shows poor judgement, which looks bad too if he wants to represent us.

    We are looking for someone who not only has the credentials, but the PROPER judgement. Accepting the appointment is just bad bad judgement.

    December 31, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. David

    The Senate doesn't have the guts to reject this guy. He's black. They cannot refuse a black man. That's just the way things are.

    December 31, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    I have no problem with the man. I saw his interviews on MSNBC and he seems like a qualified gentlemen, and a nice guy. But something about this just isn't right. The man who appointed him is under investigation for trying to sell the very Senate seat that this man now currently holds. The Gov. has a legal right to appoint him. Remember innocent until proven guilty.

    December 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. JM

    People there is not only a supreme court precident in this matter but the Constitution clearly spells it out. Unless Burris fails to meet the citizenship, residency and age requirements. There is nothing the Senate can do to remove him.

    December 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. G

    burris is getting used by blago and he doesnt care therefore he is an idiot.

    December 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Carole

    Mr. Burris, you apparently have been bitten by the POWER bug. We all know that you have had many, many, many unsuccessful runs at offices and lost. LIke duh, the person going to the Senate for any party is someone who can win when reelection comes up.

    Blago has shown now he has a racist side to him. He is the most selfish being ever. He is going to be impeached, means nothing to Blago. He is going to have charges filed against with his looney mouth on tape, means nothing to Blago.

    If Blago cared about Illinois, and his lawyer had a brain, he would shut up and sit down resigning.

    December 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. Julian Jones

    @Toby – The political justification for not confirming Burris are as relevant as the legal ones, and the fear that Blago's appointment is tainted is a real one.

    December 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. good riddance GWB ... and his sheep

    He's a career politician from Illinois ... that is all we need to NOT let him in ... he's a product of the political machine that has been churning out corrupt politicians since before old man daley ...

    December 31, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It doesn't matter how good Burris is. It is just the appearance that he is connected to Blagojevich which will cause problems. What was the back room deal or arrangement is the question that people will be asking about any possible choices that Burris makes. If the Senate does allow him to take the seat, there will be such a cloud over him that it will taint his remaining years of service.

    To Toby: the Senate is allowed be the US constitution to seat whom ever they wish to. They can refuse to seat people in this kind of circumstance.

    December 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. tim

    What can you do? Nada the guy has the job.
    The Gov. can't be impeached because the politicians don't want to hear
    the tapes or interview the witnesses. Obama won't say anything forcefully because he is a big nothing who only agrees or disagrees
    with something somebody already said. Disgrace top to bottom

    December 31, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Mike

    I find it amazing that Senator Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have apparently never read the US Constitution. Per the US Constitution, Burris has every right to accept and Blago has every right to appoint.

    Pelosi and Reid continue to their march to democratic totalitarianism.

    December 31, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Mickey Dean

    nobody with an ounce of integrity would want this appointment under the circumstances.

    December 31, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Kris in AL



    December 31, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. LIP

    Absolutely brilliant political move by Gov. Blagojevich. In one fell swoop, he has nailed everyone he had a bone to pick with. Obama, who wouldn't come to the table and who called for his resignation, will now have to say to his black constituents that he won't support a "black" selection...not. Jesse Jackson who wouldn't pay enough, is now left on the sidelines and Burris plays the "black" card by saying "surely the Senate (mostly white guys) won't deny a black man filling the seat of a fellow black man, especially since there is only one other black person in the Senate. You got to admire Bladgojevich for this kudo.

    December 31, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Zack

    Someone has to take the seat, and the law still states that the governor must make the appointment. The answer seems fairly simple: thoroughly vet Burris and ensure there wasn't any involvement in Blagojevich's pay-to-play business. If Burris is clean, then he's the new senator.

    Personally, I would have preferred someone younger and less political, but that would have been a stretch, to say the least.

    December 31, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. JC

    This still AMERICA can the law states innocent until proven guilty. So this man is doing the job that he was elected to do despite what many think of him. Also where are the state legislators who's job is to impeach if the govenor is unable to do his job. The reason why they have not done anything is do process has not happen yet. So until that happens he's allowed to do his JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 31, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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