February 24th, 2009
04:02 PM ET
5 years ago

Durbin thinks Burris should resign

Durbin wants Burris to resign.
Durbin wants Burris to resign.

(CNN) - Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Tuesday he suggested to fellow Illinois Sen. Roland Burris that he resign his seat.

“I believe with what he faces, if I was in that position, I would resign,” Durbin said.

Durbin said Burris indicated he will not step down.

Durbin also said he would not support Burris if he runs for the seat in 2010.

UPDATE: When asked if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees with Durbin, Reid spokesman Jim Manley responded: "That's up to Senator Burris to decide."


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 23rd, 2009
12:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Former adviser cuts ties with embattled senator

Burris has lost another adviser.
Burris has lost another adviser.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. Roland Burris lost the counsel of another adviser Monday, as Illinois lawmakers continued to call on him to resign his seat.

Bud Jackson, who helped Burris in his bid to replace President Obama in the Senate, sent a mass email distancing himself from Burris and describing the senator's "public relations efforts" as "less than stellar."

"Turns out that, because my business is political communication, I need to let folks know that I have not been involved in the decisions that have led to the public relations fiasco over the past week," Jackson wrote. "In fact, I actively counseled his team to take very different actions, to no avail."

But Jackson did note that he continues to back Burris even as others are calling on him to step down.

"I know that he has done nothing inappropriate despite the impression that has been left," Jackson wrote.

Burris is under fire for failing to detail his contacts with associates of now-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The senator's chief of staff and a spokesman have quit.ris


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 22nd, 2009
10:25 AM ET
4 years ago

McConnell stops short of calling for Burris to resign

CNN

Watch McConnell on CNN's State of the Union.

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Sunday stopped short of calling on embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris to resign, saying he'll follow the recommendation of the Senate Ethics Committee.

"I think the Ethics Committee can work," the Kentucky Republican told CNN's John King on State of the Union. "I think in this particular instance, it ought to work quickly, and resolve these differences and make a recommendation to the full Senate."

News surfaced last week that Burris had spoken with impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother on more than one occasion about the possibility of raising money for the former governor before being appointed to his Senate seat.

The Senate Ethics Committee has launched a preliminary investigation into the matter.

February 20th, 2009
05:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Burris's top aide resigns

ALT TEXT

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.

FULL POST


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 20th, 2009
12:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Illinois governor calls for Burris to resign

Quinn says Burris should step down.
Quinn says Burris should step down.

(CNN) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called on Sen. Roland Burris to resign Friday.

"At this time we have a senator who has a cloud over his head," Quinn said at a news conference. "It's time (for Burris) to put the interest of the people of the land of Lincoln ahead of his own and step aside and resign from office."

Earlier: Pressure mounts on Burris

Full story

Quinn said he supported a bill introduced in the Illinois legislature that would set up a special election for all future U.S. Senate vacancies.

The bill would allow the governor to set the date of a special Senate primary within 72 days of the vacancy. A general election would follow within six weeks after the primary.

The governor would be empowered to name a temporary replacement until the special election.

Quinn said that, if given the power to name a replacement, he would not name someone with an interest in running in the special election.

UPDATE:
An aide to Burris told CNN's Dana Bash he is currently not planning to officially respond, but the aide did tell CNN that the senator has "no plans to resign," and that he intends to "let the process work itself out - in Illinois and in the Senate ethics committee."

This Burris aide said he does not believe the governor called the senator before publicly announcing he should resign.

Full story


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 20th, 2009
11:08 AM ET
5 years ago

Illinois Dem says Burris must go

Rep. Hare wants Burris to resign.
Rep. Hare wants Burris to resign.

(CNN) - Illinois Rep. Phil Hare, a Democrat, has had enough of the negative press coverage of his state, and says it's time Sen. Roland Burris resign his seat.

In an interview with CNN, the Democratic congressman flatly said he does not believe Burris' claims of doing nothing improper to gain the appointment of President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

"I think Roland actively wanted this job," Hare said on CNN's American Morning. "I think he went out and tried to do everything he could to get the job but most importantly, he was under oath, and three times before this impeachment panel he was asked and he denied all three times that he had any contact, never raised any money.

"He may not have given the governor a single dime, but it wasn't because he didn't try," Hare also said.

FULL POST


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 19th, 2009
11:05 AM ET
5 years ago

Burris spokesman resigns

A spokesman for Illinois Democratic Sen. Roland Burris has resigned.
A spokesman for Illinois Democratic Sen. Roland Burris has resigned.

(CNN) - A spokesman for embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris resigned Thursday in the wake of new disclosures about requests that Burris raise money for disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich while seeking a U.S. Senate appointment.

"I initially began helping the Senator on a temporary basis because he is a long term friend who I served several years when he was (Illinois) Attorney General," Jason Erkes said in a written statement to CNN.

"It is now time for me to get back to focusing on ... my newly formed strategic communications business."

The statement did not comment on his feelings about the new disclosures.

A defiant Sen. Burris insisted Wednesday that he was innocent of any wrongdoing in his appointment to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat, even as calls for his resignation intensified.

FULL POST


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 18th, 2009
06:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Durbin: Senate ethics investigation of Burris underway

Burris admitted this week he had several discussions about fundraising with Blagojevich.
Burris admitted this week he had several discussions about fundraising with Blagojevich.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday that a Senate ethics panel is investigating Sen. Roland Burris following his disclosure that he had spoken with Rod Blagojevich's brother about raising money for the disgraced former governor while seeking appointment to the Senate.

Durbin’s comments came shortly before Rep. Phil Hare, a Democrat from western Illinois, became the first member of Congress to publicly call on Burris to step down, describing the ongoing Blagojevich saga as “a recurring nightmare.”

“Given this latest revelation, I believe it is in the best interest of all Illinoisans that Senator Burris resigns,” Hare said in a statement. “Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient.”

Durbin, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, told reporters during a congressional trip to Europe that “the Ethics Committee of the Senate is undertaking an investigation.”

“That is the appropriate thing at this point,” Durbin said.

He added that public statements by Burris in recent days “have raised questions which need to be looked at very carefully, as to the nature of his relationship with the former governor and the circumstances surrounding his appointment.”

Burris defended himself in another press conference Wednesday, and said he welcomed any investigations into his actions by the Senate or the state of Illinois.

“I ask you today to stop the rush to judgment,” he said. “You know the real Roland. I’ve done nothing wrong and I have absolutely nothing to hide.”


Filed under: Dick Durbin • Roland Burris
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.

Full story


Filed under: Roland Burris
February 16th, 2009
12:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Burris says his statements were consistent

Burris says his statements have been consistent.
Burris says his statements have been consistent.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Illinois Sen. Roland Burris reiterated Monday that his sworn testimony regarding his contacts with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not inconsistent with what he later said in an affidavit about them.

The Democratic senator's comments come a day after Illinois Republican leaders called for a perjury investigation into whether Burris deceived the public last month when he failed to tell state lawmakers that former Gov. Blagojevich's brother solicited him for campaign cash at the same time that the governor himself was considering whether to appoint him to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Earlier: Republicans want perjury probe

"We said in our testimony before the impeachment committee, my lawyer stated, that we will have to file additional information in our report because there were some questions asked where we had to get sufficient information for the committee," Burris told reporters outside Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side prior to leaving for a five-day statewide "listening tour" of his new constituents.

"We also stated that we might be incomplete in our report," he said.

He said he decided, upon receiving the court transcript, to file a separate affidavit showing whom he talked to and what was said. But, he added, "There was no change in any of our testimony. We followed up as we promised the impeachment committee. We've done everything here that we said we were going to do."

Any suggestion to the contrary, he said, "is absolutely, positively not true. It was done because we promised the committee that we would supplement information in case we missed anything."

FULL POST


Filed under: Roland Burris
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