[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/04/art.reidmtppt0104.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Reid said Sunday that he believes the Senate has the ultimate authority to decide who fills President-elect Obama's vacant seat."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D Nevada, is not pulling any punches in what is increasingly shaping up to be a likely confrontation between Senate Democrats and Roland Burris, who has been named by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
“Blagojevich obviously is a corrupt individual. I think that’s pretty clear. And the reason that he’s done what he’s done is to divert attention from the arrest that was just made of him and the indictments that will be coming in a few days according to the U.S. attorney in Illinois,” Reid said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“There is a cloud over Blagojevich and, at this stage, a cloud over the state of Illinois … As long as Blagojevich has done the appointing, it’s really a tainted appointment.”
Reid said Blagojevich should step down and then Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn could name someone – including Burris - to fill Obama’s Senate seat.
Asked whether he would refuse to seat Burris should he try to claim a seat in the Senate, Reid responded, “We are going to do what we have to do.”