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Feds probe Christine O’Donnell’s campaign spending December 29, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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 Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell to determine if the former Senate candidate broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses according to a source.   The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to protect the identity of a client who has been questioned as part of the probe (i.e. defense lawyer). The case, which has been assigned to two federal prosecutors and two FBI agents in Delaware, has not been brought before a grand jury.  Matt Moran, O’Donnell’s former campaign manager, did not immediately respond Wednesday to questions from The AP. He said earlier this month that the campaign had not been contacted about any investigation.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed that it is reviewing a complaint about O’Donnell’s campaign spending filed by a watchdog group, but officials in the office and the FBI declined to say whether a criminal investigation was under way.  O’Donnell, who set a state record by raising more than $7.3 million in a tea party-fueled campaign this year, has long been dogged by questions about her finances.  At least two former campaign workers have alleged that she routinely used political contributions to pay her personal expenses in recent years as she ran for the Senate three consecutive times, starting in 2006. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission making similar allegations and asked Delaware’s federal prosecutor to investigate.

O’Donnell’s campaign has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged she had paid part of her rent at times with campaign money, arguing that her house doubled as a campaign headquarters.  However, federal law prohibits candidates from spending campaign money for personal benefit. FEC rules say this prohibition applies to the use of campaign money for a candidate’s mortgage or rent “even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign,” although O’Donnell’s campaign maintained that it was told otherwise by someone at the agency.

Looks like this is going to get serious.  Most lawyers like to sit and wait which I think is a big mistake.  I like to launch a full investigation.  She needs to get a defense lawyer, gather documents and records, start interviewing witnesses and get on the phone with one of these AUSA’s.  Otherwise, she could wind up with big problems.  The best defense is an active defense.  Waiting around to see what happens never helped anyone.

Story is here.

Jersey City Criminal Defense Lawyers

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