Burris Defends Appointment on “Today”

Senator designate Roland Burris refused to comment on whether Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich should step down from his post during an appearance on the Today Show this morning, but defended his appointment just the same.

"It is not my purview to say [whether he should step down]," Burris responded. "It is my understanding that in this country you are innocent until proven guilty."

Burris seemed more concerned with reiterating that his appointment to the senate was legal and above board, despite that fact that his appointer, Blagojevich, is under investigation for trying to sell the seat.

"It's about me and my record. It's not about who appointed me," he said.

Senate leaders at first said that they would not acknowledge Burris' appointment, but later reversed course and cleared the way for the former Illinois Attorney General  to assume the post of Illinois' junior senator.

There existed some speculation that President-elect Obama reached out to senate leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin asking them to clear the way for Burris. But Burris denied any knowledge of Obama advocating for him.

"I really never doubted that I would be seated," he said. "It was just a matter of going through the process."

Burris is expected to be seated this week.

Contact Us