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FBI raid no excuse for not filing campaign reports, regulators say

Registry of Election Finance.jpeg
Posted at 12:32 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 14:24:36-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Political candidates cannot get out of filing campaign finance reports by blaming the FBI for seizing their records, Tennessee regulators decided Wednesday.

The Registry of Election Finance was responding to a request for leniency from Rep. Todd Warner, R-Lewisburg. Warner was among a group of GOP lawmakers who were raided by the FBI on January 8.

"You don't get a pass just because the FBI raided your stuff. You have to do the best you can," Registry member Henry Fincher said.

"'The FBI took my paperwork' is not excuse for not filing your report."

Warner had a fourth quarter report that was due at the end of January.

Fincher, a Cookeville lawyer and former state representative, noted that the freshman lawmaker could go to his bank and credit card companies to reconstruct his reports.

Registry chair Tom Lawless noted that the agency has no authority to waive the requirements for filing campaign reports.

His message to Warner: "File your report. You're not getting extended."

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