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Braun faces campaign finance violation allegations over millions in loans

braun

A Federal Election Commission investigation alleges that U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) took $7 million in loans from banks during his campaign without proof of collateral required by federal campaign finance regulations. (Drew Daudelin/WFYI News)

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) faces allegations that he violated federal election laws by accepting millions of dollars in improper loans during his 2018 Senate campaign.

The Braun campaign disputed those allegations in a Federal Election Commission hearing this week.

The FEC investigation alleged that Braun took $7 million in loans from banks during his campaign without proof of collateral required by federal campaign finance regulations. Agency auditors also said Braun illegally took a $1.5 million loan from his own company.

Chris Gober, an attorney for Braun, said the campaign has provided evidence that the bank loans were above board.

“Signed letters from the banks explaining why the loans were commercially reasonable, based off the senator’s long-standing client relationship, credit worthiness and other factors,” Gober said.

As for the loan from Braun’s company, Gober said that was a stock sale – and he acknowledged it would’ve been better if Braun had taken the money into his personal accounts and then loaned it to his own campaign.

“We nonetheless trust that the information we’ve provided to the commission should sufficiently put to rest the Audit Division’s erroneous position that these were not Senator Braun’s personal funds,” Gober said.

FEC auditors and counsel maintain that the documents provided by the Braun campaign still do not meet necessary requirements.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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