From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Chuck Todd
In a surprise move, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to name former state Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Obama in the U.S. Senate, the Chicago Tribune and others have reported.
The announcement is expected to come at a 3 p.m. ET Blagojevich news conference.
A Democratic Senate source tells NBC News that Burris will not be acceptable and to expect a joint leadership statement shortly.
Though Democrats have warned that a Blagojevich appointment would be tainted, Sen. Dick Durbin's press secretary Joe Shoemaker made it clear that the letter signed by the senators about potentially not seating a Blagojevich appointment, would look into options about not seating a Blagojevich appointment -- not that they would definitely not seat that person. That person would be under a cloud -- even if Mother Teresa were appointed, he said, but doesn't mean they won't seat someone.
*** UPDATE *** The Illinois Republican Party in a statement blamed Democrats for creating a Constitutional crisis for not demanding a special election. Here's the statement:
"Illinois Republicans were the first to demand Rod Blagojevich have nothing to do with appointing our next United States Senator. Because they went back on their word and refused to strip Blagojevich of his appointment power and pass a special election, Illinois Democrats have created yet another constitutional crisis for Illinois.
"Blagojevich Democrat Roland Burris is emblematic of the old-school, pay-to-play culture that has plagued Illinois for generations and this appointment is another embarrassment for the people of Illinois. Once again, Blagojevich Democrats have failed the people of Illinois by refusing to strip Rod Blagojevich of his senate appointment power and blocking a vote of the people."