Devin Nunes Lives on a Congressman's Salary. How Is He Funding so Many Lawsuits?
Nunes would have to set up a legal defense fund to accept free legal services or to receive money from a benefactor. Members of Congress have strict rules against receiving generous gifts, with some exceptions for family. "It would be considered a gift from that benefactor, so the only way he could do it is through a legal defense fund," said Kedric Payne, general counsel for the nonpartisan watchdog Campaign Legal Center, a former deputy chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics. Nunes has no such fund set up, according to a public records search by McClatchy. Even under the rules of that fund, set up by Congress, no one person could donate more than the $5,000 limit, according to Payne. Nunes would face penalties if he had a benefactor and did not disclose it. The House Ethics could impose fines on Nunes if it found he had improperly received gifts as a congressman, according to Payne.
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