Former Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican who represented Virginia's 5th district for a term before he was defeated by primary challenger Rep. Bob Good, may be in a world of trouble over his fundraising activities. Riggleman is listed as a sponsor of a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), despite how he works as an advisor for the January 6 select committee, where Cheney serves as vice chair.
It shall be unlawful for an officer or employee ... to make any contribution ... to any ... Representative... if the person receiving such contribution is the employer or employing authority of the person making the contribution. (18 USC 603)@Denver4VA works for @RepLizCheney pic.twitter.com/iw9bIvbEx9— BidenNoms, A Project of AAF (@bidennoms) January 26, 2022
Paul Bedard, the Washington Secrets columnist for The Washington Examiner obtained a copy of the invitation. The event in question is a March 14 reception, paid for by The Great Task PAC, which Bedard pointed out is a combination of "Liz Cheney For Wyoming" and "Cowboy PAC." It is being hosted by Bobbie and Bill Kilberg, with Riggleman listed as one of the many other hosts.
The law in question is 18 U.S. Code § 603, with relevant sections including:
(a) It shall be unlawful for an officer or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or a person receiving any salary or compensation for services from money derived from the Treasury of the United States, to make any contribution within the meaning of section 301(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to any other such officer, employee or person or to any Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress, if the person receiving such contribution is the employer or employing authority of the person making the contribution. Any person who violates this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) For purposes of this section, a contribution to an authorized committee as defined in section 302(e)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 shall be considered a contribution to the individual who has authorized such committee.
Last August, it was made publicly known by the select committee's chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), via a press release, that Riggleman was coming on board as staff.
Tom Jones, Founder of American Accountability Foundation (AAF), provided a statement for Townhall about the alleged violation, having strong words for both Riggleman and Cheney.
"As a former Member of Congress, Denver Riggleman is well aware that staff is prohibited from donating to their employers, but he decided to violate federal campaign finance laws anyway. Instead of spending their time lecturing the American people about democracy or shaming conservatives online, Riggleman and Cheney should focus on their own ethics and blatant disregard for the rule of law," Jones said.
There is also a complaint for the FEC over such a campaign finance violation that is being prepapred.
Rep. Cheney is running for re-election against primary challenger Harriet Hageman, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Cheney is a fierce and vocal critic of the former president.
A straw poll by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee on Saturday showed Hageman easily winning, with 59 votes to Cheney's 6 votes.
However, as Bedard pointed out, straw polls can be wrong. Cheney has also raised more money, with her contributions coming from Democrats as well.
Update: Shortly after publication, former Rep. Riggleman reached out to Townhall with a quote indicating that he is removing himself from the invitation.
"I have not contributed to Rep. Cheney's campaign nor will I. Rep. Cheney was unaware that I was a member of this host committee and she never asked me to be part of the committee either. I'm removing myself from the invitation to avoid the possibility of misleading stories like this one," he said.
Tom Jones also responded further. "Riggleman is only pulling out of this fundraiser because he got caught, but he cannot unring this bell. His intent to give and his overt act of signing onto the host committee was a clear violation of federal campaign finance law. He should not only remove himself as a host, but also resign from the January 6th Committee," Jones said in a statement for Townhall.