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GOP candidate John James starts high-dollar legal fund to challenge Michigan election loss

This article originally appeared here on Salon.com

John James, the Republican challenger who lost last week to Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan, has started a legal defense fund in anticipation of the costs of challenging his 85,000 vote defeat, according to records filed Monday with the Federal Elections Commission.

The organization, called the James Legal Fund, is a joint fundraising vehicle between the James campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC). It can collect donations, pay fundraising expenses and disburse money to both committees. Further, the partnership allows the fund to accept six-figure donations from individuals and transfer money out of the RNC to other GOP committees, such as the Trump campaign.

James has plenty of high-dollar donors in his Rolodex. For instance, he has his deep ties to the wealthy DeVos family, members of which have donated tens of thousands to his campaign. The DeVos family has also given to the Better Future Michigan Fund, including hundreds of thousands of dollars from Dan and Pam DeVos. The super PAC spent upwards of $7 million supporting James.

The James campaign has also taken money from GOP megadonor and current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, whose campaign donations have become the subject of congressional and legal scrutiny. James also appeared in a documentary soliciting support from a Steve Bannon political incubator. (It is unclear whether Bannon has funneled money to James.)
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Brett Kappel, a top campaign finance attorney at Harmon Curran, told Salon that contributions could find their way to the Trump team’s legal expenses.

“The money that James raises here can go to his campaign or to the RNC, which can use them however they like,” Kappel said. “The group’s statement of organization doesn’t specify that funds going to the RNC are going to be deposited into the RNC legal proceedings fund. Even if it did, the RNC could still use the money to pay for any Trump campaign legal challenges in Michigan or elsewhere.”

“John James is ending his failed campaign the way he started it: ‘2,000%’ with Trump as he continues to prove his loyalty to the Trump team until the very end and damaging whatever credibility he had left,” a Democratic aide in Michigan told Salon. Read from source….