November 20th, 2009
06:12 PM ET
4 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. prairieguy

    for the haters here...the ethics committee is made up of Repubs/Dems evenly divided...thus the Repubs were also involved in the investigation as well as the decision. Know your facts before expounding your hate for a change!

    November 20, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Why do Republican'ts hate America so much?

    The only way this decision by the Senate Ethics Committee would be ok with Republican'ts is if Burris WAS a Republican't! Then they'd be just fine with it. In fact, they'd be yelling about the "conspiracy" of the Democrats in even investigating him if he was a Republican't. But since Burris is a Democrat and there's a majority of Democrats in the Senate, then of course according to the right-wing-nut-jobs, THAT'S the conspiracy now! You people make me tired with all your crap.

    November 20, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. sorta

    Burris is a sleaze. Don't forget folks, he gets TWO pensions – yes, two – that he will collect on and that we will pay for. One comes from Illinois and the other from the government.

    November 20, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. RanDe from SoCal

    Bad Bad Burris you payetd to play. Next time like the rest of us. "Dont get caught"

    November 20, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. dan

    whew!!! that is a relife. we need all the liers and theifs we can get into office right now if we want to continue to dismantle america. just like the banks we have to keep these people in order to really screw things up.....if they dont work for the government where would they be? probably lobbiest and that would do us no good.
    besides i see no reason to get rid of him simply based on a trust issue. he lies steals works out payola sceams and then continues to lie.. gotta love it on in american politics is this acceptable... but who knows what he promissed to tell if they did not leave him alone????

    November 20, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Pam in Colorado

    And they ask if the Army could have done more? Why don't you start looking at yourselves first. You lie, cheat, steal and embezzel. How dare you quesiton the military when you people can't do anything right with yourselves!!!

    November 20, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Jim in Florida

    another whitewash by ther democrats

    November 20, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Jim in Florida

    Lacrosse Mom States
    "GOPers have to be careful, because YOU TOO have a LONG LIST OF CROOKS! People who live in glass houses, should not throw stones!"

    So, the Dems answer is that Republicans have had crooks, so it's OK....

    Change you can count on, huh?

    November 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Robin

    LacrosseMom November 20th, 2009 12:29 pm ET

    @Believe me (I lived in a communist country) IF President Obama was a socialist or a communist. you, GOPers, would not be allowed to rant about him everyday! You couldn't own your own homes, businesses would have been confiscated; Freedoms of Speech, etc., would have ended already!
    ======================================================

    President Obama is working on it. Fairness Doctrine anyone? Or how about make the citizens SO dependent on a government that you own them?

    November 20, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Robin

    LacrosseMom,

    Are you even a US citizen? If no, then that explains it!

    November 20, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. seebofubar

    No one here in Illinois expected Burris to get pinched for this. In the Illinois Democrat Party what Bago and Burris did is buisness as usual. This is where our illustrious president got his training on how to fool most of the people most of the time. Just wait, you'll eventually find out what kind of a corrupt self serving moron Obama is.

    November 20, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Robin

    James November 20th, 2009 12:28 pm ET

    "...senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct"

    Not to speak ill of the dead, but higher standard of conduct such as Ted Kennedy?

    He killed a woman, did not report it for 12 hours, and still got re-elected over and over again.

    November 20, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Bubble of Sanity

    Good thing he's a Democrat. Otherwise, he would be unemployed by this afternoon. He might even be in prison by now.

    November 20, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Erik S.

    Wow, that harsh language will teach him.

    November 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Jesse Jackson

    Hurry and get that lyin' son of a you know what out of there. I paid five million dollars so my precious son could have that senate seat.

    Get him out of there so my boy can get in there. I bought it fair and square. Jesse Jackson, Junior is the rightful heir of that seat.

    November 20, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Tim

    A crook being admonished by crooks. This is outrageous and I have little hope for America if the people put up with this garbage any longer. We need to clean house people!!!

    November 20, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Mlhall

    Burris knows as much as you do “Betty” about President Obama Birth Certificate. President Obama is a US Citizen. You and the rest of your people who can not stand the thought of a black person being in a position to tell you something is beyond your comprehension. I feel sorry for you. You will have to get over it for the time being. January 2010, you may not be here, even if it come out. God is still in control not you, Thank God.

    November 20, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. james

    Republicans are afraid of Burris... Burris for president in 2016!!!

    November 20, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Mojo

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

    This is largely incorrect. You're a tremendous source of misinformation and disinformation.

    The ethics committee is required by law to be equally divided amongst democrats and republicans.

    The committee who admonished Burris was made up of 3 democrats and 3 republicans. Boxer, Prior, Brown for the democrats, and Isakson, Roberts, Risch for the republicans.

    November 20, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. oristo

    Oh they are all a bunch of corupt crooks, None not one have our
    best interest at heart, I can assure you of that.

    November 20, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Tina

    Why bother.......it's just a slap on the wrist.

    November 20, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. 12970

    Insiders protecting their own. The vote was probably unanimous.

    November 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Marie in California

    Throw the bum out!

    November 20, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Debeucci

    I'm not sure what's the bigger cesspool. What goes on in congress or what goes on in these forums. I'm pretty sure those guys in congress have a tad bit more ehtical scrutiny than you holier than thous tossing stones being anonymous handles on the internet.

    So for those of you without sin...please step up to the front of the line....or at least offer up some proof. Yes, the factual kind, not the Palin kind if you're so sure on your convictions.

    Anyone? Anyone? I thought not.

    November 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Burris/Palin 2016.........lmao

    November 20, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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