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House Members Shell Out $1 Million in Legal Bills

Current and recently departed House members spent nearly $900,000 on legal bills in the 2nd quarter of 2007, largely fighting off criminal investigations regarding corruption allegations.

When outstanding debts are factored into the picture, the political legal tab for the quarter hits just beneath $1 million.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who has ties to federal investigations into Alaskan energy executives as well as the long-running probe into now imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, spent more than $262,138 on two law firms from April 1 through June 30, the largest of any sitting House member, according to the Federal Election Commission reports.

Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left Congress last October amid an FBI investigation into alleged inappropriate contacts with teen-agers who used to be House pages, spent more than $277,000 on his legal tab, tops for former members.

The folks at PoliticalMoneyLine.com are keeping a running tab of interesting campaign finance tidbits from FEC reports on the presidential campaigns and congressional committees, including a sampling of many legal bills wracked up by lawmakers.

The largest Democratic legal bill appears to have been wracked up by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D- W.Va.), whose personal finances are being investigated by the FBI based on allegations he distributed multi-million-dollar earmarks to non-profits that are run by people with whom Mollohan has invested in real estate properties. In the 2nd quarter, Mollohan paid out $22,671 to his legal team.

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, spent another $54,000 on two law firms helping defend him in an investigation centered on tens of millions of dollars in earmarks dished out to clients of a lobbying firm close to the lawmaker. While proclaiming his innocence since the investigation was launched last spring, Lewis has spent more than $931,000 in the last 13 months from his campaign committee on lawyers.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is the only lawmaker shelling out legal fees without finding himself in any hot water, spending $53,000 on his civil court pursuit of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) for leaking a tape of an intercepted phone call that Boehner and other House GOP leaders held a decade ago. Boehner recently won an appellate court decision saying McDermott should repay him the nearly $600,000 he's spent on legal bills since the case first started. McDermott is appealing to the Supreme Court.

Here's a rundown of the exact legal bills paid out by House members in the 2nd quarter:


Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.)
$$277,357

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
$262,138

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.)
$102,126*

Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)
$59,884

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)
$54,756

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)
$52,939

Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.)
$50,584

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.)
$25,000

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.)
$22,671

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.)
$0*

* -- Hayworth reported owing more than $106,000 to an additional law firm, while Feeney reported outstanding legal debts of $6,844.

By Paul Kane  |  July 16, 2007; 3:09 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

How can you not be proud when you read that so many of our exemplars of virtue, honesty, and rectitude ned to set aside money to defend themselves against criminal charges?

And nine out of 10 of them are . . . guess what? . . . Republicans!

Let's do the U.S. and the world a favor and vote these corrupt swine out of office in November 2008.

Posted by: reporter1 | July 16, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Where are these people getting the money to
pay their legal fees? From friends, campaign war chests? In some cases, their
salaries are just a little more than their
legal bills.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

George Washington once warned us, "If at any time the Republic we have given you no longer works it is your duty to reform it.My fellow Americans the number of corrupt congress members and Dept of VA Fraud against Vets Widows etc is evidence it does not work, Time for reform. President George Bush is increasing the number of American wounded, and deaths in Iraq daily, BUT he allowed the Dept of VS to deprive many WW 11 military widows like me of all VA widow benefits...even though I notified the White House, about VA theft of my past due benefits from death of my husband, USAF M/Sgt Rudy L. Vance 17032524, not benefit ever paid by "Don't pay...VA, thanks to out on a limb Bush and his betrayal will break off the branch he stands on..because every president is sworn to uphold our constitution and he violated our equal protection in closing his eyes to military widows deprived benefits since he took office...Mrs. Rudy L. Vance, Payson, Arizona, abandoned widow of WW 11

Posted by: Willowdean Vance | July 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

9 out of 10 are Republicans
95% of the bills are for Republicans.

In a world with less truthy 'balance' this might be noted.

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