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. xddy4u

    Why don't the Senate put their time to better use, than WITCH HUNT. Like why is Oil selling for less, yet the price at the pump is RISING. Investigate that.

    February 18, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Bruce

    Why does anyone act surprised? Politics has always been a quid pro quo business. Is anyone angry about the fact that 35% of all ambassadorships will be awarded by the President Obama (and all previous presidents) to big money donors or those who are politically well-connected – even if they have zero foreign policy experience? If you want to fix the system, you have to change the attitudes wholesale and demand competence in jobs that are elective or representative....

    February 18, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. The One

    Another Chicago liar. At least he can say he is not (yet) a convicted felon. But that is a pathetically low standard, even for a Chicago Democrat. Unfortunately, Burris doesn't even have the integrity to resign with an iota of pride. He must love having his good name dragged through the mud. He has noone to blame but himself, accepting an appointment from Blago under those circumstances.

    February 18, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Dawn, FL

    Make it quick and get this moron out of the Senate. He's a buffoon who was appointed by a buffoon.

    February 18, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I knew Burris was a goon when he was affiliated with Blago.

    February 18, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. xddy4u

    Why don't the Senate put their time to better use than go WITCH Hunting. Like, why is OIL selling for LESS, yet the price is RISING at the pump. Go Investigate that.

    February 18, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Bill

    Anyone appointed by that piece of garbage Blagoevich should resign just for the fact, he is a Blago follower!!!

    February 18, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    just kick him out already and get it over with

    February 18, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |

    Does this surprise anyone?

    February 18, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. JonDie

    Too bad Democrats let Burris in; it will be difficult to get rid of him, and even if Democrats kick him out they'll still be smeared by Republicans.

    However, if more Republicans had supported the stimulus bill, Democrats probably wouldn't have caved on letting Burris in.

    Republicans contribute NOTHING to our democracy.

    February 18, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Soldier girl

    I new Burris was afraud from the begining but the Republicans, the media and Congressional Black Caucus say he was good to go. It put the president, Pelosi, Durbin and Reid in a corner. He is greedy and selfish. Now lets see how this will be reported!

    February 18, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Kim SC

    Democrat or Republican, they lie because they can. Why they are wasting time and money NOW? Burris will have no problem keeping his job because the sad reality is no one in politics is willing to do anything about it, next week it might be one of them.

    Wake up American, the politicians try to keep us off guard with this partisan crap but the truth is they are just interested in keeping us from looking at anything but the real thruth.

    Politicians do not care about the little people, never have, never will but they do need our tax dollars so they can have a great life at our expense.

    February 18, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. rich

    If no money change hands who cares.After what weve endured for the last 8 years with the Bush/Republican rein, this is like not saying excuse me after a fart.

    February 18, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Bryce

    Word of praise for Danny Davis. In Nov 1987 Chicago Mayor Harold Washington died suddenly at his desk. His body was still warm when Fast Eddie Vrdolyak and his cronies began crafting the destruction of the Washington liberal coalition through a back room deal. When Alderman Danny Davis was questioned about his interest in becoming Mayor, he stated that out of RESPECT for the deceased Major he would refrain from politics during the time of mourning. He lost out. Eugene Sawyer, a black man, was chosen as a token interim mayor by the Vrdolyak group, just long enough to get Richie Daley elected. He has been Mayor since.
    This is the same Danny Davis, now a Congressman, who refused solicitations by Blagojevich for the Obama Senate Seat. He refused out of RESPECT for the Senate. I think he should replace Roland Burris. At least he understands Respect.

    February 18, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Patriot Guy

    Good....even though the only thing he is probably guilty of is being a desperate, self-promoting, opportunistic little twerp.

    February 18, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. pc

    Burris is a sick joke. He should have the decency to step down. Our country have had enough of corrupt politicians. Enough Already!!!

    February 18, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @arithmetic is liberal. February 18th, 2009 5:21 pm ET
    Wow, I actually agree with what you said. I started reading the Ticker about 6 months before the election. My opinion of liberals had been that they have good intentions but are just naive. Now I too walk away every day after reading this site angry, thinking that they should all be line up against a wall an shot as traitors or locked up as insane. It seems that negative comments feed on each other. In light of your coherent sounding observations, when we come to shoot you, I'll ask that they just give you a flesh wound 🙂 If arithmatic is liberal, then calculus is conservative.

    February 18, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The Democrats are going to clean this mess up – quickly!

    Truth be told, if Burris was a Republican, the right wing slime machine would be out attacking the author of the original facts, calling them terrorists, un-American and anything else they could get away with.

    I hope you right wing swifties are watching how the current government is vetting itself – if you messed up and are of questionable vintage for the administration, you are encouraged to step aside for the sake of the country.

    Too bad somebody didn't vett Mike Brown of FEMA better – maybe the Katrina victims wouldn't have been just that at the hands of their own government – victims!!!!!!!!!

    February 18, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Once you vote Black

    I am with Yuck. Each time I see this guy I want to puke. Its not his fault I suppose. He just makes me sick. Even before this happened. There is something about him that reminds me of an undertaker or a volcher or something.

    February 18, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Viet Vet

    well I guess he better correct his headstone

    February 18, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Rick

    we have a lieing Senator from Illinois, Tax cheats in the Obama administtration and NOW, We have the Republican pick for VP not paying her taxes. I guess the problem is all those people in government.

    Its time all Americans get together and vote all the old staus quo non-tax paying people out of office......

    February 18, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Me in San Diego

    These guys are as bad as the athletes doping to win games, endorsements, etc. We need to have the highest expectations and standards for our leaders.....we need good examples (role models) for our children. We need to seek a better way, but seek it the right way.......there was a time in America when good conscience ruled the day. Good Conscience, where are you now?

    February 18, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. arithmetic is liberal

    Yeah, yeah Dave, Rush said that on his show yesterday.

    Wash, rinse, REGURGITATE, repeat.

    February 18, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. Independent voter

    lies!lies! and more lies! it doesn't matter what party you belong to, politicians in genral are pathological liars. I repeat "in general"!

    February 18, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. sick of this

    As long as our political system is so corrupt this will never change from either party.

    It's time we end all corporate, union, and non-profit donations, and ban all lobbyists.

    February 18, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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