WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- The man who replaced President Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate, Roland Burris, wants to set up a legal defense fund to protect his seat, a Senate aide says.
Burris, D-Ill., expects to need as much as $400,000 for ongoing ethics and perjury investigations surrounding his appointment to the Senate by impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
The Chicago law firm of Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan has filed an application with the Senate Ethics Committee to allow Burris to establish a legal defense fund.
The fund would allow the embattled Illinois senator to accept contributions from individuals of up to $10,000 each to cover his legal fees.
A Senate aide told the Tribune the ethics committee typically takes 3-4 weeks to consider an application for a legal defense fund.
In addition to the Washington investigations, the Sangamon County State's Attorney in Springfield, Ill. is looking into statements Burris made before the Illinois House panel that voted to recommend Blagojevich face an impeachment trial in the state Senate.