CHICAGO, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill. became the first member of Congress to call on besieged U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., to resign.
"I believe it is in the best interest of all Illinoisans that Sen. Burris resigns. Our state and its citizens deserve the whole truth, not bits and pieces only when it is convenient," Hare said Wednesday in a statement.
In Chicago, Burris spiritedly defended himself against increased questions and multiple probes about the circumstances surrounding his appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich just weeks before the governor was impeached, the Chicago Tribune said.
"If I had done the things I've been accused of, I'd be too embarrassed to stand up here," Burris said the City Club of Chicago, an organization of civic leaders, politicians and businesspeople. "I have done nothing wrong and I have absolutely nothing to hide."
Burris said he would cooperate with a perjury review by a county attorney in Illinois as well as the preliminary investigation opened by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Also calling on Burris to step aside Wednesday, was state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, a leading candidate in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, U.S. President Barack Obama's chief of staff, The Hill reported. Another candidate to replace Emanuel, Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, made the same request Tuesday.
The Tribune also demanded that Burris resign in an editorial published Wednesday.
"The benefit of the doubt had already been stretched thin and taut by the time Roland Burris offered his third version of the events leading to his appointment to the U.S. Senate," the editorial said. "It finally snapped like a rubber band, popping him on that long Pinocchio nose of his, when he came out with version four."
"Roland Burris must resign," the editorial said.
Burris on Monday admitted he sought to raise campaign money for Blagojevich after talking with the governor's brother. Previously, Burris indicated he had done nothing to try to secure his appointment.