February 18th, 2009
06:55 PM ET
9 years ago

Durbin: Senate ethics investigation of Burris underway

Burris admitted this week he had several discussions about fundraising with Blagojevich.

Burris admitted this week he had several discussions about fundraising with Blagojevich.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday that a Senate ethics panel is investigating Sen. Roland Burris following his disclosure that he had spoken with Rod Blagojevich's brother about raising money for the disgraced former governor while seeking appointment to the Senate.

Durbin’s comments came shortly before Rep. Phil Hare, a Democrat from western Illinois, became the first member of Congress to publicly call on Burris to step down, describing the ongoing Blagojevich saga as “a recurring nightmare.”

“Given this latest revelation, I believe it is in the best interest of all Illinoisans that Senator Burris resigns,” Hare said in a statement. “Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient.”

Durbin, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, told reporters during a congressional trip to Europe that “the Ethics Committee of the Senate is undertaking an investigation.”

“That is the appropriate thing at this point,” Durbin said.

He added that public statements by Burris in recent days “have raised questions which need to be looked at very carefully, as to the nature of his relationship with the former governor and the circumstances surrounding his appointment.”

Burris defended himself in another press conference Wednesday, and said he welcomed any investigations into his actions by the Senate or the state of Illinois.

“I ask you today to stop the rush to judgment,” he said. “You know the real Roland. I’ve done nothing wrong and I have absolutely nothing to hide.”

Filed under: Dick Durbin • Roland Burris
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Unshrub

    Why must you foolish republicans try to act like it's only the Democrats who have their problems. republicans are just as bad, but enough said, Burris has sounds about as honest as the governor that appointed him. But this has nothing to do with Obama.

    February 18, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Pam

    Looks like Jesse White knew what he was doing when he refused to certify Burris's appointment.

    February 18, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Jamilah

    Ula Nejad, are you for real? That kind of statement isn't even human. I don't what kind of people you hang around, but I haven't heard talk like that since my racist uncle (by marriage, thank God) and Archie Bunker spouted their nonsense.

    February 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Cheryl

    Whoever said age begets wisdom never met Burris.

    He needs to resign and quit acting the fool.

    February 18, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Tubaman

    The people of Illinois should have had the chance, through special election, to fill the seat vacated by Obama. To think that the Washington Dems would seat Burris, induct him into the club, when nearly everyone in Illinois was clamoring for an election shows the extent of the Dems gasping grasp to attain the supermajority they so need to drag us all into the hell of gigantically increased government intervention in our lives.

    Throw Burris under the bus, then add Durbin, Reid, and the whole sick lot of them.

    February 18, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Peter


    February 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Dutch/Hampton Roads, VA

    Mr. Burris, there is a statement that you need to learn once this investigation begins. It goes something like this.........

    "I have no recollection of that senator."

    February 18, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. frank , pennsylvania

    Democrats please don't allow republicans to distract you from focusing on your job. There is no need, no sense in all these quibbles! Now that democrats have control of the house, the republicans will use all tricks to create a divide among the democrats, diminish their reputation and win back control of the house. Democrats please remain focused on the real job and avoid all these side-attractions!

    February 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Bleebo

    It is awful. The people criticized Reid, and Durbin in the begininng, now they want to put the blame on the DEM's. (Whatever) People pay attention, you scream racism, then you cry liar. Burris was getting what he want at the cost of AMERICANS. He is a sneaky, lil rat. He should have never been given that appointment, BUT the voices of the american people were YELLIN, Reid is a racist, they just don't want to see a Black man in the SENATE, PEOPLE!! PLEASE. And stop shouting IL, it is all over, america. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!! Pay attention. YES, We can!!!! President OBAMA. Yes we will, you are getting those BUMS in order. Pay attention, AMERICA, as my man Bernie Mac, would say. And last you media folk, learn to respect "44". He is no longer to be addressed as Barack Obama, HE is PRESIDENT Obama. SAY IT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. UHHHWEEEE, that my friends is JAMES BROWN, hit me.

    February 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. unanamous

    Mr. Burris (I refuse to call him senator), is a fraud and should resign. He is a liar, just like his former governor!

    February 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Hammer

    What has Burris done that 99% of the politicians in Washington have not done? They take rewards from lobbyist, sell their votes , lie then deny, don't pay taxes and most anything else.
    Sorta like the pot calling the kettle black.

    February 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Mary in LA

    Another Chicago one lies. And we're supposed to believe the Koolaid that Obama/Rahm are clean???

    It's embarrassing to be an American these days.

    February 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. honeychild

    liar, liar pants on fire!!!

    February 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Jacques

    Whitewash coming. These guys can't even investigate Charlie Rangel for all of his tax cheating. Durbin and the Senate Ethics panel could not find unethical behavior if they were sitting in the Chicken Ranch outside of Vegas.

    February 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. John, Montreal

    Go Man, just GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Leave & dont show your sorry face again!!

    February 18, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Cary lacayo

    I knew there was something shady about this guy. He needs to step down before he brings more trouble and heart ache to the Chicagoins who have had enough of this curruption cassarole shoved down there throats...

    He can go meet up with blago on his jide out vacation spot were they can talk about the good ol' times of being in politics...I hope the message is sent to anyone/politicians that want to cut corners to get to the top...

    February 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Larry from RI

    The dems didn't want him in the first place either – looks like Harry Reid got it right huh?

    February 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Louis

    We have wasted enough hard-earned taxpayer money on Blago and Burris–Burris should resign now. What a disgrace.

    February 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Straight Talk

    Out you go...... next!

    February 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Jick

    Burris for the love of your country just step down , you already qualify for the great pension and health care only a US senator can get. This is truely a waste of every ones time and energy-RETIRE.

    February 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Just another slick politician who thinks he can out-smart others. It is obvious that he was not up front with the truth. He never should have accepted the appointment from Blago. whose reputation was so severely damaged. Birds of a feather---.


    February 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Gary

    Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby and Lil' Kim all went to jail for perjury. If Burris commited perjury he should not only leave the Senate but he should be sent to jail.

    February 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. George the Democrat Obama fanatic.

    The highest level of coonery. And I am black so I can say it.

    February 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Peter

    U N B E L I E V A B L E !
    in EVERY sense of the word...

    February 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Dorothy

    They were only given a portion of the original amount requested. To obtain the rest of the money, they had to submit a viable plan for solvency in February.

    February 18, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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