Campaign contributions to retired U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican, paid for more than $700,000 in lawyers' bills arising from an ethics investigation into his role in the 2007 firing of former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
Domenici's People for Pete committee listed $705,043 in legal fees, with $602,054 going to the Washington, D.C., firm of O'Melveny & Myers.
The spending was disclosed in an October 2008 report to the Federal Election Commission.
Domenici's committee did not get an FEC ruling in advance about the expenditures.
FEC press officer Judith Ingram says the committee requested an advisory opinion about spending campaign funds for legal fees but withdrew its request because the FEC lacked a quorum to rule.
In other cases from Congress, the FEC has issued opinions saying such spending conformed to the law.