Blagojevich Senate pick stands by criticism of gov

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The man Gov. Rod Blagojevich picked to serve in the U.S. Senate stands by his earlier criticism of the crimes the Illinois governor is accused of committing.

Roland Burris has said the charges against Blagojevich outline "appalling" and "reprehensible" behavior.

Burris told The Associated Press Wednesday that he "absolutely" stands by those statements. But he said the governor is innocent until proven guilty and he wouldn't say whether he should resign.

New senators are to be sworn in next week. Senate leaders say they won't let Burris take office. Burris says he'll be in Washington but won't cause a scene if he's turned away.

Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. The governor says he's innocent.

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