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A ‘Little Library’ on the Issues in United States v. Cohen

Below are links to key pleadings and other documents related to United States v. Cohen, in which Michael Cohen, the President’s former private lawyer, pleaded guilty to willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution and making an excessive contribution to the President’s campaign. Also below are links to some of the key court documents in United … Continue Reading

Major FARA Changes Move Forward in Congress as House Marks Up Bill

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, the House Judiciary Committee voted 15-6 to report the Disclosing Foreign Influence Act (H.R. 4170) out of committee, taking a major step toward amending the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). As discussed in an earlier update, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Representative Mike Johnson introduced identical bills … Continue Reading

Bribery and the Brokered Convention?

In the industrial Midwest, after multiple ballots, the Republican convention finally chooses its nominee. Operatives for the frontrunner—a nationally known, polarizing figure who has infuriated Democrats with his abrasive rhetoric on the most divisive, racially-charged issue of the day—flood the city “with money to corrupt, with bullies to intimidate and with houries to seduce.” As … Continue Reading

FEC Publishes New Contribution Limits for the 2016 Election Cycle

Today the Federal Election Commission published in the Federal Register the contribution limits that will apply during the 2016 election cycle. The chart below summarizes the new limits, some of which were adjusted for inflation under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: TO/FROM: Presidential Candidate Senate Candidate House Candidate National Party Committee State Party Committee … Continue Reading

In Independence Institute, a Pro-Disclosure Decision—But With No Disclosure to Follow

It was hardly surprising that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in Independence Institute v. FEC, would reject a challenge to McCain-Feingold’s disclosure requirements for “electioneering communications.” These are television or radio ads, sponsored by unregistered groups, that refer to candidates before the voters during the thirty or sixty days before the … Continue Reading

Major Victory for Voters’ Rights in North Carolina

In a major victory for voting rights, the Fourth Circuit today issued an order forbidding the State of North Carolina from implementing certain provisions in a law impeding voters rights in that state. Perkins Coie LLP represented several North Carolina voters in the litigation. Marc Elias, a partner with Perkins Coie involved in the efforts … Continue Reading

Deception and Disclosure in the Iowa Endorsement-Buying Case

Few face greater peril under the campaign finance and criminal laws than an undisputed bad actor. Yesterday, former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson admitted in a plea agreement that he willfully caused Representative Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign to falsely report payments made to two companies. In fact, Sorenson acknowledged, the campaign paid the companies—who … Continue Reading

The Bachmann Announcement and the Special Challenges of Publicly-Charged Investigations

Today, Representative Bachmann announced that she would not seek re-election in 2014 to Congress.  In a video statement, she denied that her decision was related in any way to the reported investigations relating to her 2012 presidential campaign, or to any fear she might not be re-elected.  But whatever may be her particular situation, the … Continue Reading