Pat Buchanan questions merits of federal investigation into Christine O’Donnell campaign expenditures

On Wednesday, it was reported that Republican Christine O’Donnell is facing a federal criminal investigation for misusing funds raised during her Delaware senatorial campaign.  An unnamed source told the Associated Press that a “client” had been questioned as part of a probe into O’Donnell’s campaign spending. A U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed it was reviewing a complaint filed by Washington-based watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW).

But according to MSNBC contributor and former presidential contender Pat Buchanan, there’s nothing there.

“I think there may be a sillier charge I’ve heard, but I can’t think of it right now,” Buchanan said. “Thomas, look this lady raised $7.5 million over probably two months, spending it in a hectic campaign, people coming in and out. And we are talking about one-third of 1 percent of the funds, which she may have used to pay her rent.”

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Buchanan questioned the merits of the federal investigation and noted that former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had similar issues with her campaign.

“I don’t know whether that’s illegal or not,” he continued. “I know guys in campaigns that paid themselves salaries out of their campaign funds. Every campaign I’ve been in, they’ve got auditors come walking in afterwards. They go over the books for months and then they say, ‘Look at this, look at this, look at this.’ You’re going to be fined. Even Hillary Clinton got it. This — I mean, I really think this Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, who are these people? And if the FBI, quite frankly, and the federal prosecutors are looking into whether this woman paid her rent with campaign funds, then they don’t have much to do.”

Based on his experience, he said, these things come and go, usually with a fine and a slap on the wrist.

“But, you know, people — let me tell you, Thomas. I don’t know — I know a lot about federal campaign laws,” Buchanan said. “I don’t know everything about details. They come in and they say, ‘This was okay. That wasn’t. This was okay. Therefore, you owe us a fine of $35,000.’ I mean people in campaigns, primaries like presidential primaries and her campaign especially, which is basically a two-month campaign after she won the primary, I mean, I’m astonished that that’s all that’s there.”

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  • rockhard

    What an outrage by the DOJ, this is all political, where is the “DOJ” to investigate Charlie rangal? he not only failed to report income on rentals for years, also had FOUR low rent apartments meant for people with low income. he robbed from the government and low income citizens, and no criminal investigation ?

    but the DOJ investigates if she used $600 to pay her rent years ago, $ 24 and $19 on food…

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  • OldSchoolUSA

    If she is found guilty just slap her on the wrist like you did that chump Charlie Rangel. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    • oeno

      You of course failed to realize there is a difference between tax law and federal election law, right?

      Two different bodies with Federal authority with two different sets of rules.

      I don’t know why this should be so hard for a person with basic reading skills to understand.

      • OldMexican

        Re: oeno,

        “You of course failed to realize there is a difference between tax law and federal election law, right?”

        The difference is that under Tax Law, a congressman with seniority, an ex-congressman-turned-lobbyist, or a Treasury Secretary receive a slap in the wrist for tax violations that would land anybody else’s ass in jail. Instead, under federal election law, former candidates that have plenty of political connections receive a slap in the wrist.

        They are QUITE different, tax laws compared to federal election laws. Like night and day.

  • rone


  • diamndgirl

    Vendetta Witch-Hunt.

    It’s an outrage…the hypocrisy screams at you here if you’re a political junkie.

    Agenda for the left..the very people that we could all list that should have been behind bars long ago…still should to this day, but a pass or a slap on the hand was all it took and we were told to move on.

    Infuriating, it’s a despicable, deplorable, detestable, disgrace.

    Those that rule now will rue the day for much.

    Pay-Backs are hell…we won’t forget.

    ’12 Can’t get here soon enough.

    • oeno

      So you are fine with clear violations of FEC regulations about not paying your rent with campaign funds, right?

      This isn’t about her paying her mother and sister as advisors (that is perfectly legal as long as you give them some sort of dummy name and O’Donnell was too stupid), it’s about a clear violation, which she thought she could get away with before she became big time.

      It is a pretty clear cut case and anyone in Delaware knew about it a few years ago.

  • Passer-by

    And no investigation of Rangel or Geithner?
    What am I missing?

    • oeno

      Um…apples and oranges? O’Donnell is being accused of violating Federal election law.

      The other two are guilty of not paying taxes and while the height of ridiculous ended up paying back taxes plus a fine, the usual punishment.

      • Passer-by

        Ah, it’s ok to cheat on your taxes for huge sums of money, but trivial rent on a home office, a tiny fraction of what the fat cats deduct for their fancy offices, now that’s a problem.

        • oeno

          Geithner didn’t pay the taxes he was told he had to pay during his time at the IMF (though I’d say working at the IMF is sort of a black mark). That’s an IRS issue. He paid the taxes and the penalties.

          Rangell didn’t pay his full share of taxes on properties he owned. Again an IRS matter. He paid the taxes with penalties. That’s the norm.

          O’Donnell paid her rent with campaign funds, a big no-no under the FEC (that’s a separate agency, in case you were wondering)and she could face prosecution from the IRS for tax-fraud if FEC and the IRS coordinated.

          I suppose the idea of apples and oranges is foreign to you?

          • b1jetmech

            So Geithner and Rangel paid their way out of prosecution but O’Donnell…they have to throw the book at her right?

            By all means Christine should pay the fines of the “Alleged” incident and move on because the Democrats mentioned are serving with honor so Christine should follow their example.

  • oeno

    Pat failed to note that this was a complaint that stemmed from the 2008 campaign, not the last two months of the 2010 campaign.

    • theprofessor

      It seems like he’s not the only one. I haven’t seen an accurate report of this yet.

    • b1jetmech

      So it’s taken two years for the FEDS to publicly act on this matter?

    • independentvoter

      It was from 2008.. figures MSM forgot to mention that.. all she has to do is say she mixed up the check books and wrote the check out of the wrong one..an HONEST mistake like RANGLES..