FEC May Deny Part of Coleman’s Request to Use Campaign Funds for Legal Expenses

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) “released two draft opinions Thursday that may deny part of Republican Norm Coleman’s request to use Senate campaign funds to help defray the cost of some of his legal expenses,” Congressional Quarterly reports.

Some background:

In early April, Coleman wrote the FEC asking to use money from his campaign to pay for fees associated with a number of legal issues. They included: complaints before the Senate Ethics Committee, reviewing a letter to the FBI, and a federal investigation into whether Coleman violated laws or rules as a senator or a candidate and the related media inquiries.

The request does not include funds for his drawn-out legal dispute over the 2008 Senate race between Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. Those costs are being paid in part by Coleman Minnesota Recount Committee.

The FEC “wrote in both opinions that Coleman may not use his campaign funds for any costs with the FBI investigation that are unrelated to his campaign or duties as a federal officeholder.”

One of the two opinions also does not allow Coleman to use campaign funds for lawsuits in Texas and Delaware.

These drafts “do not have the force of law until approved by a vote by the six-person commission.”

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