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Members Shell Out for Legal Fees

With so many House lawmakers under federal investigation or some other form of scrutiny, it's a good time to be a member of the ethics and criminal defense bar. New reports filed with the Federal Election Commission this week show that several members shelled out big bucks to pay legal bills in the first three months of 2008. Some of the notables:

• Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who has a separate legal defense fund, spent $129,000 from his campaign account on lawyers in the first quarter of the year. He faces a competitive GOP primary and, if he gets through that, a tough general election campaign.

• Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) spent $48,000 on legal fees in the quarter and had just $14,000 left in the bank as of June 30. Mollohan is running unopposed for reelection.

• Retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) spent $48,000 in legal fees for the quarter.

• Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) sent a whopping $628,000 check from his campaign to Jones Day in April, part of his legally required mandate to pay Rep. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) legal bills from the Republican's lawsuit against him.

• Retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), who has a separate legal defense fund, did not report spending any money on legal fees from his campaign account this quarter. He did report $121,000 in previously existing debt to the law firm Williams Mullen, as well as $31,000 in debt to his wife Julia's fundraising firm.

• Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who also has a legal defense fund, also spent nothing on lawyers out of his campaign account. (Related question: Is Jefferson really running for reelection? He says he is, but his campaign spent just $1,100 for the quarter, all of it on cleaning and storage fees.)

• Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) spent nothing on lawyers.

• Retiring Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) also spent nothing on legal bills and has $106,000 in debt to lawyers.

• Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) spent $45,000 on legal fees.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 16, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Next: Unrest in the GOP Base

Comments

I hope they all go broke, heck they helped Bush and Cheney loot AMERICA....They also deserve to go to jail...just puts a smile on my face...

Posted by: CHAMPIONS | July 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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