February 18th, 2009
12:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Calls for Burris resignation intensify as new details emerge

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris leaves a news conference on Sunday in Chicago, Illinois.

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris leaves a news conference on Sunday in Chicago, Illinois.

(CNN) - The Washington Post added its voice Wednesday to a growing chorus of demands for the resignation of Sen. Roland Burris two days after he detailed conversations with impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother that he failed to mention under oath.

Burris, appointed by a scandal-wracked Blagojevich to fill President Obama's vacant Senate seat, told reporters Monday night in Peoria, Illinois, that he had three conversations with the governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich.

In them, the Democratic senator said he discussed possibly raising money for the governor before ultimately declining to do so.

Burris said he had talked to some people about holding a fundraiser but told the governor's brother shortly after Obama's election that no one was willing to donate. In a third conversation, he finally said it would be inappropriate to raise money because he was interested in the Senate appointment.

"This latest revelation makes a mockery of his professions of no quid pro quo," the Post argued on its editorial page. "It is a violation of the public trust. The people of Illinois have suffered enough. Mr. Burris should resign."

The paper also said, "Mr. Burris's story has more twists than the Chicago El, and none of them good."

On Tuesday, the largest newspaper in Illinois also called for Burris to resign. In an editorial on its Web site, the Chicago Tribune said that "the benefit of the doubt had already been stretched thin" with Burris' explanations of his appointment, and that with his most recent comments, "[i]t finally snapped like a rubber band, popping him on that long Pinocchio nose of his."

Updated 12:33 p.m.

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Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. ran

    I told you so. This guy should go to jail for what he did. His only concern was to get the seat because he knew he could never get elected.

    February 18, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. No more sheep

    Throw the crook out! Another corrupt Chicago politician......maybe there is a place in the new administration for him??

    February 18, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Jonita

    Sadly it's time for Senator Burris to go he can't be effective now...

    February 18, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. William

    Mr. Burris should step down immediately. We deserve only men and women of the highest integrity to serve and represent us in congress. Being less than truthful, either by mistatements or ommission of facts, is not acceptable. The majority party should pursue his removal aggressively if he choses not to resign, otherwise it stinks of hypocricy.

    February 18, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Sniffit

    @ Obambi

    Watching too much X-Files again? Reality has its own agenda "my friend"...you can't re-write it yourself.

    February 18, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Jacques

    Roland Burris is totally unethical. I don't care whether he can be convicted of a crime. People are entitled to hold a Senator to a higher standard, and Burris fails at every moral test. Burris is simply a political hack who doesn't know right from wrong. The people of Illinois must remove this moral cesspool.

    February 18, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. steinway

    I don't see what the problem is...this is de rigueur for a Chicago politician. It’s not like he had all the other candidates disqualified over some technicality?

    February 18, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. patriot

    Hit the bricks, Burris. You've been caught in a lie, there is nothing more for you to do than go quietly. We need good, truthful epople with integrity in our government now more than ever.

    February 18, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Evans Hollern

    It has become more and more evident that there is no such thing as an honest democrat in Illinois. I guess this is just the way they learned politics in that state. And this includes Obama, don't be fooled.

    February 18, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. rich

    This is petty and irrelevent,no crimes were committed.This is as bad as the clinton impeachment.We have more important things to do than to waste time and resourses on BS like this.The results will be the same.The witch hunters will get thrown out of office,like clinton.More BS from the right.

    February 18, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Film Professor

    Hate to say this as a liberal, but Roland Martin - we need to hear from you. You defended this guy when Blago appointed him under suspect circumstances, so it would be refreshing to see you revisit your opinions on this.

    February 18, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. rich

    After the last administration,this like a fart.

    February 18, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. mw


    February 18, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. ERD in NC

    If he lied under oath about contacts with the governor, I don't understand how anyone can say things like "From what I see he did nothing wrong".

    In a way it is too bad for Burris; if he resigns, everyone who thinks he did something wrong will be affirmed by his decision; if he does not, then either he will be found culpable in a governmental investigation and those same folks will be affirmed OR he will not and have to live with the accusations the rest of his political career (and further on). But, hey, he was the one who pushed for the position, so I guess you lay down in the bed that you make.

    February 18, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Nick - Arlington, VA


    February 18, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Lando Jones

    He has not once laid out any plans for what he wants to do for his constituents, the people of IL. We, the people are simply not nearly as important as him trying to "CYA." He won't win the election in two years and would not have won this one. The faster he goes the better.

    February 18, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. fella from Chicago

    Maybe we can borrow a Senator for the short term from one of our neighboring states.

    February 18, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. the idiot

    Think we need an honest person to investigate all of this, but where can we find one. Congress certainly not, the administration certainly not. So far the Supreme Court does not seem to be tainted.

    February 18, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Andy J, Upstate NY

    now, i'm not a fan of the republicans, but how can anybody like the democrats? both of these parties are corrupt and inept, at best.

    go ahead and list all the dirty, corrupt, and morally compromising things democrats have been in the news for within the past 2 years.

    but strangely the word "Democrat" is omitted from this article.

    Shocking? I think not. This is CNN.

    February 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Nebraskan

    Why are people throwing the word "perjury" around? It says that he never mentioned the conversations under oath...he never LIED about them.

    The prosecutors should have done a better cross examination if they wanted this to come out during the hearings. If they didn't, then that is on them.

    February 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Dean in Florida

    The crooked Illinois politician should resign...Burris, too.

    February 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Normal in Va

    Burris seems to have lost his grasp on reality as he sounds very much like a Repub fighting with reality or science .... basically the truth? Maybe he forgot to switch his party affiliation?
    As far as Illinios being the most corrupt state?? – get real – take a look at Alaska, Montana, N Calif., Fla., La. You can't get away with Fox Talking Points at CNN – we are not mindless dito-heads here.

    February 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. James

    Maybe the people of Illinois should go out of state ( to Indiana or Iowa) and try to find an honest person to represent them in the Senate.

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Doug, New Jersey

    "Shame on CNN's Roland Martin and others who played the race card to pressure Reid into an unwise decision."

    The above is how the average liberal Democrat thinks, what a joke. Oh yes its Roland Martin's fault, not the Democrooks you worship in Congress. This is not Harry Reid's fault at all but when you bang your toe on the side of the bed it is that Darn evil George Bush's fault. Yep Bush is at fault for all your mistakes, hurricanes, ETC, but Harry Reid is not responsible for allowing Burris to be seated as Senator, the average lib mind is completely tained by hate, partisanship, lack of self responsiblity, and a total disregard for morals and values. Please, know what you are supporting when you vote lib.

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. rena

    Virginia – And what mess would that be? The mess your looney bin (Bush) left behind. How many crooks are sitting in Washington? All of them. So, don't just say the dems are the problem both houses has been a problem since the beginning of time. Everybody want to flex their muscles with tax payers dollars.

    Bottom line, all of them need to be throwed out!!!

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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