WASHINGTON (CNN) – Embattled Sen. Roland Burris is asking the Senate Select Committee on Ethics for permission to open a fund to help pay for legal expenses incurred in the weeks after his controversial appointment to the Senate, an aide close to the senator confirmed Thursday.
The Illinois senator reportedly owes around $400,000 in legal fees.
According to the filing, the purpose of the fund is "to pay for expenses incurred by the Senator in connection with his appointment to the US Senate on December 30th, 2008. Due to the controversy surrounding his appointment by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senator Burris incurred legal expenses to support his eventual swearing in on January 15th, 2009 in both Illinois and Washington, DC."
"In addition, even after he was seated, Senator Burris has continued to require representation amid accusations of perjury and other alleged improprieties relating back to his appointment to the senate seat."
Burris has faced pressure to resign after new revelations about contact between his camp and the office of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich - who was impeached over charges he tried to sell the state's open Senate seat - prior to his appointment.