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FEC Ends Investigation of O’Donnell, but FBI’s Continues

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint against former Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, but an unrelated FBI probe into the Delaware Republican’s campaign spending is ongoing, her lawyer said Thursday.

Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer at Foley & Lardner, said the FEC recently notified O’Donnell that it had dismissed a complaint filed by the Delaware Republican Party in September, just before the tea party favorite rocked the party establishment by defeating then-Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary. O’Donnell lost the general election in November to Democrat Chris Coons.

Mitchell said there was no substance to the complaint, which alleged that O’Donnell knowingly accepted illegal campaign contributions from the Tea Party Express political action committee. “This was just a political ploy by the party,” Mitchell said. “There was no evidence that she violated anything.”

Mitchell confirmed that an FBI investigation into O’Donnell’s 2010 run has yet to be concluded. The investigation stems from allegations that O’Donnell used campaign finances to pay personal expenses, including rent on her town house.

Mitchell said she was optimistic that the FBI investigation will clear O’Donnell. “It just takes a while to slog through these complaints,” she said.