February 18th, 2009
06:55 PM ET
5 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. lynn in NM

    Honest politicians? That is an oxymoron.

    February 18, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. pete

    Vic,

    Yes, Burris broke laws. He lied under oath, repeatedly. I know you democrats don't have a problem with that, but I do.

    February 18, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. Alfred E. Neumann

    Perhaps we should hear first from Chris Dodd and his special mortgage loan package.

    Go after Burris but he should get in line, a very long line of Senate cheats.

    February 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. JSU-TIGER99

    If they was to get him out of office I would not feel sorry for him, All he had to do was keep his mouth close but what did he do open it, A close mouth is better than a running one

    February 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Jen, Philadelphia

    The ethics committee isn't going to recommend he be impeached, and Democratic leaders aren't going to let him resign. They'll give him a slap on the wrist and that's it. They will not risk anything to that slim margin of majority that can give them 60 votes on any bill. That's "politics" you can believe in. We'll leave the "change" for the idiots who thought things would be different.

    February 18, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. dr.mimi de la cruz

    I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE "BORRIS" STORIES.

    HE SOUNDS JUST LIKE BLAGO....CONTENTIOUS

    & ARROGANT. TO HEAR IT FROM HIS MOUTH, HE

    IS THE VIRGIN MARY.HE SOUNDS DIRTIER THEN BLAGO.

    February 18, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Larry

    Bye Bye Roland ...

    Any good reputation you may have had is gone ...

    I guess all you can do now is wait for the pine box to put you out of your agony ...

    February 18, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Typical White Person

    I'm shocked! Shocked to find that a Chicago politician lied!

    February 18, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. david goldman

    TIME TO TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT AGAIN.

    February 18, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. FORMER REPUBLICAN

    MAN REEKS OF SLEAZE.

    February 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. JSU-TIGER99

    I do not feel sorry for him at all, He could have kept his mouth close and no one would have ever known about this, but what happen he got to running off at his mouth and no he will be back where he was at home wondering WHAT IF... A close mouth is better than a OPEN ONE

    February 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. a southern bell

    TIME FOR ANOTHER CLEANUP.

    February 18, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Pat

    Considering the commotion over Burris' race being a factor in his being selected and had to be accepted, I wonder when someone will claim it as the reason he is now being attacked. There are two other racism acticles in CNN today. Holder is demanding honesty on race after honest discussion was lambasted for decades as white racism. Sharpton regularly draws attention to his perceived white racism but not black racism. Honest discussion of race is not possible until blacks accept their responsibility in correcting racism in America to at least the same degree demanded of other races. JUST STOP THE RACISM – NO EXCUSES.

    February 18, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. Sam

    He was appointed under fraud, are we suprised he is a fraud?

    February 18, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. c

    Burris could get into one of those "Dumbest Criminals" stories.

    February 18, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. JIM WHITTAKER, Hemet, CA

    Burris gotta go!

    NOW!

    February 18, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Christian

    I'm a US Marine....and lately, I'm becoming more and more depressed that I gave my life and served my country as an infantryman for leaders like this and others that do not appreciate our great country Leaders who use deceit, and corruption to gain affluence and power...but its politics shouldn't be that much of a surprise but it still is.

    February 18, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. vic

    Did Burris break any laws???
    If not, then this is a wasted cause.

    February 18, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Darryl

    What about the "Racist Depiction of the President?",

    NEW YORK – The New York Post is standing behind a cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police. The cartoon in Wednesday's Post by Sean Delonas shows two police officers standing over the body of a bullet-riddled chimp. One of the officers says the other, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.

    Shouldn't we be more upset anout this....

    February 18, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. Rick CT

    Should have done this before he was seated. Reid looks like a fool – again.

    February 18, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. ray

    i do hope all republicans go hell soon, please lord do me that favour, take these obstructionist.

    February 18, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    HE IS A BIG CLOWN AND I DIDN'T LIKE HIM FROM THE START. HE thought Just becasue he was black the set belong to him. I am black and I was not for him. I seen right though this CLOWN!

    February 18, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. JOYCE

    If Mr. Burris really cared about the State of Illinois, he would resign. Each day he stays in office he brings only more ridicule to the state. Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Burris' need for being in a position of power is stronger than his feelings for the state, so he probably will not resign.

    Mr. Burris needs to ask himself what he can give Illinois that nobody else can. If he answers that question truthfully, he will realize he is not irreplacable.

    February 18, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Jason

    This whole saga is appalling. Democrats and republicans should come together and boot this guy out of the senate and rapidly hold an election to replace him. I'm a democrat, and i think this guy blights the reputation of the party, and is a sorry successor to the seat of the now-president.

    The democrats won't keep him around solely to maintain their numbers in the senate; this guy is clearly tainted, increasingly seems untrustworthy, and is the antithesis of where the democrats are trying to go. Throw him out so we can be rid of the shadow of Blago!

    February 18, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. JIM SKY

    CHANGE WE NEED! HA HA HA. SAME OLD POLITICS. THEY DON"T CARE HOW DISHONEST HE IS. ITS ANOTHER VOTE THEY CAN COUNT ON TO SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS AGENDA.

    February 18, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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