November 20th, 2009
06:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate Ethics Committee admonishes Burris

Senate Ethics Committee clears Burris of legal wrongdoing.
Senate Ethics Committee clears Burris of legal wrongdoing.

Washington (CNN) –The Senate Ethics Committee issued a letter Friday admonishing embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris "for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate" in connection with his controversial appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"While the committee did not find that the evidence before it supported
any actionable violations of law, senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct," the letter stated.

Burris, currently the only African-American U.S. senator, is serving the remaining two years of President Barack Obama's Senate term, but he has never been embraced by his party's leaders in Illinois or Capitol Hill.

He was appointed to the seat last December by Blagojevich, who was later impeached, removed from office and arrested on federal corruption charges alleging that he tried to sell Obama's seat to the highest bidder.


Democratic leaders urged Blagojevich, who has maintained his innocence, not to make an appointment. He disregarded those wishes by naming Burris, a former state attorney general and state comptroller, to the seat.

Burris, for his part, was suspected of perjury in connection with his testimony on Blagojevich's alleged "pay for play" scheme to fill the Senate seat. But in June, the state's attorney in Sangamon County, Illinois, said he would not charge Burris.

The state's attorney, John Schmidt, said Burris gave incomplete but truthful answers to questions about his conversations with Blagojevich's representatives.

In July, Burris said he would not run for a full six-year term in 2010.

(Updated 12pm)


Filed under: Roland Burris
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Joseph

    gotta love all the name callers condeming democrats. Don't you guys have recess or lunch to go to. Let's not forget GOP scandal and skeletons in the closets. Heck the last administration should be charged with war crimes and fraud but I don't see any of you actively persuing that. Go figure. For one to find an honest politician is like finding the pot at the end of the rainbow. It will never happen. If you're blind enough to think that there is an honest politician I'd like to sell you some dehydrated water.

    November 20, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. JackTaraz

    The reason that this guy fought so hard to get this seat, even temporarily, is that once seated, even for a partial term, he is locked for a lifetime of FULL PENSION at, what? $130K? PLUS, lifetime coverage of the MEDICAL PLAN that these crooks voted for themselves!!! Not the scruffy medical plan that the BEST of us have even. Gold Plated Medical Coverage!

    November 20, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. lank

    What does ADMONISHES mean?...oh, i see, it´s under the picture!!...Americans always going from available English to Slang and vice versa.

    November 20, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Kala

    Burris gets a slap on the wrist for lying to Congress? No wonder there is so much lying rampant in Congress.

    November 20, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    These Democrats up there slither with the best of them.

    November 20, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    "Senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct".
    1. Since when?
    2. Who in the Senate wrote that "higher standard of conduct"?
    3. Most career politicians are out for themselves..money and power! They need to be tossed out as they seemed to have forgotten who they work for and it is NOT a party, NOT the unions, NOT undercover billionaires! They work for us!

    November 20, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Edwin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, said "Let the republican bashing begin. Poor Roland. He won't get re-elected if he wanted to."

    Umm, Burris is a DEMOCRAT.

    The fact that democrat bloggers are bashing him is because of the corruption. Remember, republicans were not kind to governor Sanford...

    November 20, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. W l Jones

    I never seen a man from Africa look like Senator Burris ! it must be politic! maybe a dark skin Cau....

    November 20, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. mjm

    "Pay to Play" is actually a prerequisite for democrats now days.

    All the Democrats need is someone to not think and vote yes when told to do so. Durbin and Burris are perfect.

    November 20, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    "Let the republican bashing begin"? Begin? You mean the bashing of repubicans haven't started? Really?

    November 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Tom

    Oooooh, admonished! That'll show 'em. Bet he's quaking in his boots.

    November 20, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. michael

    I'm a Democrat. I voted for Obama. Burris is a jerk and a sleazeball. They should kick him out now.

    November 20, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. SocialismBad

    Interesting how the Democrats get their 60 vote majority... First they accept this fraud of an appointment instead of having a special election and then the Democrats in Mass. change the laws so the Democrat governor can appoint somebody when they voted to REMOVE that ability from the Republican governeor just a few years ago.

    The Democrats have shown there is no law they will break or manipulate to get what they want. Tax cheats in the Whitehouse on top of it. Truly the part of corruption.

    November 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Kelvin Brown

    I don't think Mr. Burris will be having this accomplishment carved onto the front of his mausoleum.

    November 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. cindy

    This man was appointed by a sitting governor. Why are they attacking him? The governor was charged with corruption, not the senator.

    November 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Let's see, he was admonished by Dodd, Reid, Kerry, Schumer, Boxer, Feinstein and Durbin.

    I'm surprised they found anything unethical about Burris.

    November 20, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. Ken from missouri

    Senate Ethics Committee these words tell it all there is something
    wrong there those words can't go together and what it really means
    we take care of our own plain and simple.

    November 20, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. ak

    At least the insurance companies did not place him there. Good luck senator

    November 20, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Charles

    In otherwords, they caught him with his hands in the cookie jar, but they're giving him a pass because he's one of them. Typical Beltway behavior.

    November 20, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    We have here the typical vile GOPers comments. The name calling, the branding of Liberals as ........ socialists!

    gotta love all the name callers condeming democrats
    ----------------------------
    I can admit that both parties do the same name calling. Can you?

    Please stop playing the victim!

    November 20, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Bob in Pa

    The mans a political crook just like all his other Chicago buddies in the presidents administration.

    November 20, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. wagon

    The chick-uhhhhhhnnnnssssss are coming home to roost for all the Illinois/Chicago knuckleheads in power in Washington. This guy, Axelrod, Emanuel, and of course – Lord Obama.

    Democrats – enjoy your butt-kicking in 2010. It's a gonna be a big one!

    November 20, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. John D.

    He is more crooked and has fewer ethics than Blagojevich. To think he was admonished by an ethics committee. They have alot to be proud of themselves. Somehow the libs who generally flood this and write remarks will blame it on Republicans like they always do. I wish they'd get a job. I'm sick of supporting them.

    November 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Tristan

    "...senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct," what perpendicular universe do they live in?

    November 20, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Bryan

    Have any of you folks saying "dems are this" or "republicans are that" noticed that both parties are two sides of the same coin? Not many in washington really do anything for you and I. We sit and argue about which party is the scum but they've both forgotten who they're there for...US! Nothing that benefits you or I will ever get done by our government if it means that the career people in our government lose out on something. Period! You can waste your time with the dem/repub all you want but neither party is going to do anything for you before they do wonders for themselves.

    November 20, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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