Former US Attorney Joe DiGenova says New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner violated federal campaign laws by using donated funds to pay for a private investigator to hunt down his bogus claim that he had been hacked in 2011.
The New York Daily News reported this weekend that Weiner’s bogus claim from June 2011 was investigated by a high-powered DC firm:
Weiner ultimately paid a private investigations firm, T&M Protection services, $43,100 from his campaign fund — knowing nobody hacked anything and that he’d sent the image himself.
T&M officials declined to answer questions about what work they did and what they discovered.
It is possible that even more money was spent on the fool’s errand.
At the time, Weiner said he had asked a law firm, BakerHostetler, to look into the matter. Records show his campaign paid BakerHostetler $93,350 for “legal services” between January 2010 and December 2012.
I asked DiGenova Monday morning on WMAL in Washington DC if his use of campaign funds on the fool’s errand was appropriate or, potentially illegal:
“It is illegal. And at a minimum, it’s a violation of the federal election laws and it’s subject to a civil penalty. It’s also, theoretically, and possibly, criminal because it’s mail fraud, wire fraud, it involves the stealing of money for an illegal purpose, an improper purpose. He misrepresented on his filings what it was used for when he knew, in fact, that the investigation was completely unnecessary. There’s no doubt that he’s personally, civilly liable for the money and he could be, theoretically, criminally liable. There is no doubt about that. That is a false statement under federal law.”
Listen to the entire interview here: