Burris claims support in state letter

January 1, 2009 10:05:50 PM PST
Roland Burris may have new support in his attempt to become the office holder. It comes in the form of a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State's office.

Burris says that letter should clear up any legal questions surrounding his appointment by Governor Blagojevich.

Though he argues that his appointment is legal, Roland Burris does not have the Secretary of State's signature certifying his appointment.

What Burris does have is a letter from the Secretary of State's senior legal advisor - dated Wednesday - which says that Jesse White's office "has made a register of the appointment of Roland Burris to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy left by President-elect Barack Obama."

A spokesman for the Secretary of state says that letter is merely a formal recording of a legal matter still in dispute. It doesn't change Jesse White's position. He has not and will not certify the appointment of Roland Burris because of legal questions surrounding the Governor.

But the Burris camp believes the letter to be a legal statement of fact supporting a legal appointment, and it may well be the piece of paper that Burris takes with him to Washington next week when he attempts to be seated.

Whatever the piece of paper, Senate Democrats are still standing firm in their refusal to seat anyone sent by Rod Blagojevich.

It is possible the Senators could put a hold on the Burris appointment and refer it to their rules committee where it could sit for a while. In the meantime, the machinery of impeachment moves forward in Springfield. A special Senate committee next week will be drawing up ground rules for a possible trial of Rod Blagojevich.

Members of the house committee investigating whether to move ahead with the impeachment of Blagojevich may have the full house vote on the articles of impeachment as early as late next week.