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Don't expect Senate to expel Burris

From NBC's Ken Strickland
While there are lots of calls for Sen. Roland Burris to resign, don't expect any effort from his Senate colleagues to expel him from the Senate when he returns to Capitol Hill next week. 

Even though Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin told a Chicago newspaper earlier this week that Burris' "future in the Senate seat is in question," leadership staff on both sides of the aisle say, at this stage, the only way Burris would be out of the Senate would be for Burris to resign.

As a rule, the Senate prefers to let investigations, trials, etc., run their course before they act. (For example, there was never a serious effort to expel former Sens. Ted Stevens and Larry Craig even as they were waiting to appeal their cases.)

The investigations on Burris are in the earliest stages. The Senate Ethics Committee inquiry could take months. 

Most importantly, expulsion by the Senate is a dramatic step. The last one happened in 1862 concerning the Civil War. In most cases the Senate lets the controversies work themselves out. Craig decided not to seek reelection and Stevens lost his race. (Bob Packwood stepped down just before the Senate planned to vote on his expulsion.)

Here's what we know from the Burris camp about the state of play: He is not planning to resign; he will cooperate with all investigations; he will not talk about the issue during the investigations, and he believes he's done nothing wrong.