A new report indicates that Georgia Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock used campaign funds to battle a personal lawsuit.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The lawsuit began in 2019, when Atlanta resident Melvin Robertson made allegations against Warnock dating back to his time as a pastor in 2005, Politico reported. The suit was dismissed by a federal district court judge, but Robertson refiled a similar case in 2021, when Warnock was in the Senate. The Georgia Democrat used his campaign attorneys from Elias Law Group to defend against the suit, along with the Atlanta-based firm Krevolin & Horst, the report said.
The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) allows for “litigation expenses where the candidate/officeholder was the defendant and the litigation arose directly from campaign activity or the candidate’s status as a candidate.” However, the allegations were made prior to Sen. Warnock seeking public office.
Warnock has insisted that the use of the funds was legal.
“This report intentionally misrepresents reality by relying on Washington Republicans’ attacks instead of the actual facts. This was never a personal lawsuit, it was a frivolous lawsuit filed against multiple public figures and handled according to the law. Herschel Walker would rather talk about anything other than his pattern of lies, exaggerations, and completely bizarre claims, all of which show he is not ready to represent Georgians in the U.S. Senate,” Warnock’s campaign manager, Quentin Fulks, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Because the lawsuit was filed while Warnock was in office, the funds can be used, according to Marc Elias, who heads the Elias Law Group.
But Warnock’s lawyers previously alluded to the fact that the allegations predated his campaign, arguing the case should be dismissed because the claims “relate to actions purportedly taken in 2005 and 2008, when he was not a federal employee.”
Warnock is working to defend his seat against Republican challenger Herschel Walker in this year’s midterms.