Federal Election Commission lawyers urged a federal judge not to heed U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's contention that regulators are being too hard on him and force him to pay nearly $360,000 in fines and restitution for tapping campaign accounts for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting.
The FEC says the Idaho Republican ignored the U.S. Senate's own warnings not to spend the money.
This battle has gone on more than a year, as the commission seeks to force Craig to repay his campaign.
Ex-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig won more time to file court paperwork as he fights federal election regulators who contend he misused campaign funds to defend himself following his 2007 arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting.
A judge in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Thursday gave Craig until Nov. 13 to file documents opposing the Federal Election Commission's proposal he be forced to pay $140,000 in fines and return $217,000 to his campaign accounts.
Previously, Craig's documents were due by Wednesday.
Federal election regulators want former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to pay $140,000 in fines and return more than $216,000 to his campaign, arguing he misused the money to fund his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting.
The Federal Election Commission proposed the penalties earlier this week in filings to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C.
In March, Jackson refused to dismiss the FEC's lawsuit against the Idaho senator alleging he illegally tapped campaign funds.
Idaho's former U.S. Senator Larry Craig is back in court this week in a case related to his 2007 arrest for disorderly conduct in an airport men's room. This time, the question is over Craig's use of $200,000 in campaign funds to pay his legal bills. A federal judge hears the case on Wednesday.
The Federal Election Commission says campaign contributions are only supposed to be used on ordinary expenses incurred on the job. And Craig's arrest by an undercover cop who accused the senator of soliciting sex in a bathroom? The FEC says that counts as personal.
It’s a news story that, in Idaho, has become a legend. A conservative senator arrested for soliciting sex with another man in an airport bathroom. In video from C-SPAN from 2007 Idaho Senator Larry Craig apologizes just after the story broke.
“While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away," he said. "That was a mistake and I deeply regret it.”