Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Members of Congress Keep Lawyers Busy

At any given time, it seems there are some members of Congress paying lawyers to defend questions about their activities or handle legal and financial issues regarding their campaign funds. The third quarter saw the following examples.

Rep. Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y., had his campaign committee pay $45,000 for legal fees in the third quarter. The committee paid $25,000 to Dechert LLP, and $20,000 to Perkins Coie LLP. Bishop is still under review by the House Ethics Committee over solicitations of contributions after performing official acts.

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., used his campaign funds to pay $40,015 to lawyers during the third quarter. The Roskam for Congress committee paid the funds to the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP. Roskam’s trip with his wife to Taiwan in October 2011 is still under review by the House Ethics Committee.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., used his Rangel for Congress committee to pay $39,000 in legal fees. The committee paid Jay Goldenberg, PC, in New York, $35,000 and Gary Berkson in Washington, D.C. $4,000. Rangel is suing Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers, claiming problems with the House Ethics Committee investigation that led to his December 2010 censure for failing to pay certain taxes and soliciting contributions from businesses.

Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., had his campaign committee pay $4,000 to Perkins Coie LLP. Tierney’s personal financial disclosure reports, and payments to his wife, had been under review by the House Ethics Committee, but the committee determined no action was necessary and closed the case in September 2013.

Sometimes just the volume of campaign funds requires general assistance from law firms. The campaign committee of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., paid $21,324 to Wiley Rein LLP for legal consulting. The committee of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., paid $13,224 to Perkins Coie LLP.

Presidential campaigns winding down from the 2012 election also faced continuing legal costs in the third quarter.

Obama for America paid $117,560 in legal fees. They paid it all to the law firm of Perkins Coie.

Romney for President paid $48,912 for legal consulting. They paid $48,687 to Patton Boggs LLP, and $225 to Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, used her Bachmann for President committee to pay $5,100 to Frank R. Berman in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Bachmann’s presidential campaign is still under review by the House Ethics Committee for payments to her presidential staff.

To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.

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