Blagojevich celebrates Orthodox Christmas

January 6, 2009 9:08:07 PM PST
The holidays may be over for most of us, but not for Gov. Blagojevich and his family on Tuesday night.It is Christmas Eve on the Serbian calendar.

While the U.S. Senate didn't give him or his appointee, Roland Burris, what they wanted, if it's bothering the governor on Tuesday, he isn't showing it.

"I'm just here to enjoy the holiday season," said Blagojevich.

There were few words from the governor on Tuesday night as he and wife Patty Blagojevich and their two daughters arrived at their Serbian Orthodox church for Christmas Eve mass.

The first lady teared up at times as a packed house listened to words of support from the priest.

Earlier, after the U.S. Senate refused to seat his appointee, the governor released this statement: "The people of Illinois are entitled to be represented by two senators in the United States Senate. As governor, it is my duty and obligation to appoint a senator when there is a vacancy. I have done that by appointing Roland Burris, a good and decent man with a long history of public service in Illinois. Any allegations against me should not be held against him and especially not the people of Illinois."

Meanwhile, attorneys for Roland Burris filed additional paperwork with the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, adding new details that Burris was prevented from being sworn into the Senate.

Their hope is that justices will force Secretary of State Jesse White to sign the document that would certify Burris as a U.S. senator.

"We think we have a strong legal case and expect that once this matter is resolved in the courts that there will be no more impetment to senator burris taking his rightful place in the Senate," said Emmitt House, Roland Burris' Attorney.

U.S. chief district court judge James Holderman released four secret recordings of the Blagojevich investigation to attorneys for their review. Prosecutors want to turn the tapes over to the House Committee on Impeachment. The judge entered a protective order on the tapes, ordering anyone who hears them not to talk about it.

The House Impeachment Committee meets in Springfield on Wednesday. A full House expect to meet on Thursday.

Burris' attorney is hoping the Illinois Supreme Court will decide whether to hear their case by the end of Wednesday.