Coleman can't pay all legal bills for Kazeminy suits with campaign cash, FEC says

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Norm Coleman's money situation isn't looking too hot lately. The Federal Elections Commission came back to Coleman with two drafted opinions based on his inquiry about paying legal bills with campaign funds, according to a Minnesota Independent report.

While the two opinions differ slightly, the FEC came to the conclusion that Coleman can't use the funds to pay his legal bills, but there could be exceptions for some bills. If he can prove the legal bills are related to his campaign or job as an officeholder, he might be able to pull it off

Coleman's question is related to lawsuits in Texas and Delaware that allege a Coleman donor steered $75,000 to his family through his wife's business. Coleman is not a party in the case, but the FBI is looking into the claim and possibly Senate ethics violations.

The FEC put out the opinions Thursday and will discuss them at their June 25 meeting, says Minnesota Independent.

Check out the opinions here (PDF).

Draft Advisory Opinion A:
For the reasons discussed below, the Commission concludes that the Committee may use campaign funds to pay for the following legal services: reviewing the complaints to the Senate Ethics Committee; reviewing ABM's letter to the FBI; representing Senator Coleman in an FBI investigation of alleged violations of Federal law or rules governing the office of a Senator or the conduct of campaigns; and responding to media inquiries.

For the reasons discussed below, the Commission concludes that the Committee may not use campaign funds to pay for the following legal services: representing Senator Coleman in the Texas or Delaware lawsuits; and representing Senator Coleman in an FBI investigation of allegations unrelated to Senator Coleman's campaign or duties as a Federal officeholder. For the reasons discussed below, the Commission concludes that the Committee may use campaign funds to pay for 50% of legal fees for monitoring the two lawsuits.
Draft Advisory Opinion B:
For the reasons discussed below, the Commission concludes that the Committee may use campaign funds to pay for the following legal services: reviewing the complaints to the Senate Ethics Committee; reviewing ABM's letter to the FBI; representing Senator Coleman in an FBI investigation of alleged violations of Federal law or rules governing the office of a Senator or the conduct of campaigns; monitoring and representing Senator Coleman in the Texas and Delaware lawsuits; and responding to media inquiries.

The Committee may not, however, use campaign funds to pay for legal services representing Senator Coleman in an FBI investigation of allegations unrelated to Senator Coleman's campaign or duties as a Federal officeholder.


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