Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) has requested permission from the Senate Ethics Committee to open a legal defense fund, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.
Burris is under scrutiny from both the Senate Ethics panel as well as an Illinois state’s attorney probe into his late-December appointment to the chamber by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (R), who was subsequently impeached over allegations he attempted to sell the appointment to President Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
According to the Sun-Times, Burris’s office estimated his related legal bills could be as high as $400,000.
The request must be approved by the Senate Ethics Committee before the fund may begin accepting donations.
Under rules governing such funds, Burris is prohibited from soliciting donations, and the fund may not accept contributions from lobbyists, corporations or unions. The maximum contribution is $10,000 to a Senate legal defense fund.