Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.) defended Roland Burris as free of taint and said that it would be difficult for lawmakers to deny his Senate appointment.

Christensen, in an interview with WNYC, said that many people would like to see another African-American senator take the seat, vacated by President-elect Obama, and that Burris is qualified to do so. She added that it will be "very difficult" for the Senate to deny a seat "to a person like Roland Burris, who is, as far as I know, and I've known him for 20 or so years, is of impeccable character."

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) announced Burris, a former Illinois state attorney general, as his Senate appointment on Tuesday. Senate Democrats have said they won't honor the appointment because of the legal trouble the governor faces. Federal prosecutors said that Blagojevich tried to trade the Senate appointment in exchange for personal and political benefits.

Christensen, however, said that Blagojevich still has the power to make the appointment.

"Well, given the present circumstances, it might have been better for the governor, I mean for everyone, for the impeachment proceedings to have proceeded," she said. "However, the governor of Illinois is still within his right to make that decision and to make that call as long as he's governor and he made it. He chose an outstanding person. And, I don't think that that person necessarily comes under his cloud, it's just under these unfortunate circumstances."

Christensen, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also denied that Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has backed himself into a corner by urging the Senate to seat Burris, who would be the only black member of the upper chamber. Christensen noted that the group has lobbied the Senate on appointments before.

"I don't know what the caucus will decide on this particular issue, but clearly the governor of Illinois, and rightly so up to this point, feels that he is the governor and it's within his authority to appoint a person to replace Sen. Obama," she said. "He's chosen a good person, although as you well know, the Congressional Black Caucus has several members who, outstanding members, who, any of whom we would have hoped he would have chosen."