February 18th, 2009
12:33 PM ET
5 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. KWAME

    i have an idea on how to get BURRIS out. Since he thrives on accomplishments and positions, i think OBAMA needs to appoint him as commerce secretary and the he will abondon the senate ( so he can add it to his tomb...was a senator for some weeks) and by the time he gets to the confirmation hearings and is not approved, he will have been replaced. Genius i am !! lol
    OH BOOORRRIS!!

    February 18, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Joy

    Burris appears to have sold his soul to the devil, so to speak, in order to be a U.S. senator. Not worth it when you lose your credibility in the process. I'm in a neighboring state (MI) and am watching this with interest. SE MI had it's own political drama last year with Kilpatrick who refused to resign even when he was indicted, but then changed his mind after months went by. I'd tell Sen. Burris to not drag the people of the state of IL through that just to keep what he wants.

    February 18, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Hill the jobseller

    He would have made a great republican.

    February 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Tom in Delaware

    I think this is the first Ticker post where George Bush, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin didn't get blamed for everything....maybe that's the 'Hope and Change' that Obama was talking about.

    Thank God he's a clean politician from Chicago.

    February 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. NoLeftTurn

    Why resign? Join the rest of the business as usual group. He fits right in.

    February 18, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Walter

    From MW
    WALTER
    START A CROOK LIST FOR EACH PARTY AND SEE HOW LONG THE REPUG LIST IS IN COMPARISON.
    SINCE I AM INDEPENDENT I DON'T HAVE A DOG IN THIS FIGHT.
    BUT SINCE IT IS AN ISSUE WITH YOU—START A COMPARISON LIST, THEN START BEATING YOUR CHEST, TARZAN.
    GREED AND INADEQUACY ON BOTH SIDES OVER THE DECADES.
    PEOPLE NOT INFALLIBLE.
    MY GUESS IS THERE IS MORE NEOCON GREED THAN ULTRA LIBERAL.
    GIVE ME A CENTRICE/MODERATE/INDEPENDENT/NO- AX -TO -GRIND -HONEST POLITICIAN ANY DAY.
    ---------------------

    Well, Perry Mason, the Libs haven't been in charge for long and look how much corruption they've accomplished in such a short time. When comparing this to the eight years under Bush, of course the Repub list will be longer. Given time, I'm confident that the Democrooks can catch up, possibly in less than four years. Now go stuff that in your pipe and smoke it.

    February 18, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. David in Dallas

    Once again the "ball-less" Harry Reid allowed this man who is obviously a liar and corrupt to take a seat in the US senate. When is my party, the Democrats, going to get wise and dump Reid and Pelosi as their leaders. Burris should have never been seated in the senate and Reid knows it, but was too gutless to do anything about it.

    February 18, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Are you Oblivious to the Obvious?

    Well, what can you expect from Illinois politicians? They're all liars and crooks.

    February 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Mashley

    This man is just weird.

    February 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. agree

    if he were white he would be gone by now.

    February 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Chris

    Speaking as a Democrat who never wanted Burris seated in the first place, it's time for him to resign. Then, the people of Illinois, and not a corrupt governor, can choose their senator.

    @ Walter, Jim in Florida, etc:

    Stop trolling. Internet trolls are losers. Also, for a change, do some research before you post.

    February 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. PA Dem

    Nobody in the Senate wanted this guy. He was shoved down our throats. I'm a Dem and I didn't want him. I agreed with the Senate that no Blago pick should get the seat. For all those on the right that said "Seat him. You have no valid reason not to"...here's the reason! Dems should have held their ground and kept him out!

    Burris, please retain some of your dignity and the honor of the Seat and RESIGN!

    February 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Hopeful Optimist

    If Herbert Hoover did indeed say "When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned", then I would take it as gospel; because if any one man ever successfully took down a government it was Herbert Hoover.

    February 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Nebraskan

    Did you folks read the article? He "talked to some folks about trying to put a fundraiser on". That doesn't mean he fundraised. Innocent until proven guilty....right?

    It's interesting how there seem to be no direct quotes that contradict the direct quotes made "to reporters in Peoria, Illinois on Monday night"...

    February 18, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. dimes

    as a Illinois resident it is a sad state of affairs.

    There is a reason that the other Democratic candidates refused to accept an appointment by Blogovitch. I don't hold out much hope that Burris will do the right thing and resign, I feel that he will follow in Blogo's footsteaps and make a spectacle of this whole mess.

    This is not a particine issue, there are as many Democrats upset as Republicans and if Burris stays in office it probably benifits the Republicand more since he will be un-electable and give the Republicans a better chance to win the seat back in two years.

    February 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Although I know it is a hard concept for some people to understand, there is a difference between saying that he didn't have all the information when testifying than saying he didn't talk to anyone on Blagojevich's staff. It would seem unlikely that there was NO communication between them if he was being considered for the appointment, but it is the nature of that communication that should be the true question. And until there is sufficient evidence of willful perjury that is proven in court, isn't he supposed to be considered innocent?

    Now mind you, I don't particularly like Burris. What little I've seen written about him indicates that he is a periennial "wanna be" who has yet to win anything significant at the polls, but I also don't like people baying for blood!

    February 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Unshrub

    Dump the bum...

    February 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. christie

    And people running for office want to know why we don't trust them. Liars, cheats and theives. But If we lie about something, we get fired, ridiculed, or ousted. But the politicans get to do what they want and se themselves above reproach.

    February 18, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Chas in Iowa

    Ther guy never should have been seated anyway. To accept a position from the governer after he was in such deep du-du shows he had no real ethics to start with.
    Now the truths start to come out,.....ditch him now!

    February 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Accountability

    This clown's gotta go...

    February 18, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, David in Dallas,

    Yes, Reid could have prevented the seating of Burris, but he had to have specific, concrete reasons at the time, which he did not. He didn't "cave in" and seat him. Initially, Burris' paperwork was incomplete, and when it was finally complete, there was no VALID reason at the time to not seat him. You need to go and read both the Constitution and the Senate Rules to understand that not liking someone, or feeling that an appointment is tainted is not sufficient grounds, there has to be proof in law.

    We are a country of laws and rules; they must apply to all equally, and not just to the few.

    February 18, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. christie

    and I forgot to mention, politics is the ultimate house of cards in a smoke and mirrors game. Nobody wins, but we all get screwed....

    February 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. MK

    Please resign Mr. Burris if you're so noble. And don't even bother playing the race card on this one. You got yourself into this mess by not being truthful.

    I hope Reid and Durbin enjoy the egg on their face. In just one month, we have had enough corruption to last the whole year. 2010 is just around the corner.

    February 18, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Tony

    Liar, fraud, crook!

    February 18, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. TC

    Another example of yet another self-serving, egomaniacal politician working the system for his own benefit. Burris is a product of Chicago Machine politics and is as crooked and as corrupt as the rest of them. He doesn't give a fig about the people of Illinois. He's a lying, oily sneak and should be forced to resign. Illinois deserves much, much better.

    February 18, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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