A top aide to Burris has resigned. (GETTY IMAGES)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As pressure continued to mount Friday for Sen. Roland Burris to resign his seat, the Illinois Democrat’s top aide stepped down and returned to his position with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Darrel Thompson made no mention as to why he was returning to Reid’s office other than to say he was “temporarily detailed” to Burris, and added “I wish Senator Burris and his family the best.”
Burris has come under fire from Democrats, Republicans and even the editorial pages of some newspapers for his conflicting accounts about his contact with associates and the brother of impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Earlier in the day, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called on Burris to resign and be replaced through a special election.
A Democratic leadership aide, who asked not to be named given the sensitivity of the matter, said that Thompson was left with no choice but to resign.
"In light of the conflicting statements he felt it was something he could no longer help out with," said the source.
Rodell Mollineau, a Reid spokesman, said that “Senator Reid appreciates the work that Darrel did for Senator Burris and is glad to have him back.”
Thompson, one of Reid’s top aides, went to work for Burris when the Illinois Democrat was sworn-in earlier this year to fill the remaining two years of President Barack Obama’s Senate term.
As for Burris’s future, Mollineau said Reid, a Nevada Democrat, supports a full accounting of this matter.
“What we do know is that there is a process in place that includes reviews by the Illinois state officials and the Senate Ethics Committee and Senator Reid agrees with that,” Mollineau said. “Senator Reid believes that the appropriate procedures should play out and let all the facts come to light.”