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February 27, 2013

FEC v. Larry Craig hearing delayed

An #FEC lawsuit challenging former Sen. Larry Craig's use of #campaign funds for his legal defense needs is now set for a motion-do-dismiss hearing on Wednesday, March 6.

Originally set for Feb. 27, the hearing before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson will give Craig's attorneys the chance to argue why the Federal Election Commission's lawsuit should be tossed out. The FEC contends Craig improperly converted to personal use more than $216,000 in campaign funds when he used the money to pay for attorneys in connection with his embarrassing 2007 arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

"When the events occurred, Senator Craig was engaged in official travel from his home in Idaho to a session of Congress in Washington, D.C. commencing that evening," his attorneys argue.

The FEC counters that Craig's arrest, originally for allegedly soliciting a male undercover police officer staked out in men's room, and the subsequent litigation doesn't count as official activity. Stated the FEC:

"Craig’s trip was not required by the Constitution. Nothing about his official duties as a federal officeholder caused him to engage in that personal conduct in the airport restroom, or to subsequently plead guilty, or to thereafter decide to try to withdraw that guilty plea. His resulting legal expenses were thus personal in nature."





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"Suits & Sentences" is a legal affairs blog written by Michael Doyle, a reporter for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School, where he earned a Master of Studies in Law; he also earned a Masters in Government from The Johns Hopkins University with a thesis on the Freedom of Information Act. He teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

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