CINCINNATI (CN) – The U.S. attorney general can investigate criminal violations of campaign contribution laws without a referral from the Federal Election Commission, the 6th Circuit ruled.
Geoffrey Fieger, Nancy Fisher, and the law firm of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney and Johnson sought to halt the attorney general’s investigation, stating that only the FEC can launch such an investigation.
The FEC Act gives exclusive jurisdiction to the FEC for civil violations of the Act.
However, Judge Russell noted that the provisions of the Act “reference the civil enforcement powers of the Commission, they are silent with respect to criminal jurisdiction.”
Therefore, Russell agreed with the district court that the attorney general could launch an independent investigation.