On February 5, 2007, Geoffrey Fieger, Nancy Fisher and the law firm of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson, P.C. (FFKJ), filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging that the Commission has violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and the Administrative Procedures Act (the APA) by failing to conduct an investigation into the plaintiff's activities and that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has violated the Act by conducting a criminal investigation into the plaintiffs' alleged activities even though the Commission has not yet completed its investigation.
Geoffrey Fieger is an attorney and president of FFKJ. Ms. Fisher is the office manager of FFKJ. According to the complaint, on September 19, 2006, the Commission found reason to believe that the plaintiffs violated the Act by making contributions in the name of others but has failed to investigate the matter. In June 2005, the Department of Justice, with the assistance of the FBI and IRS, began an investigation into the actual source of the purported contributions, including subpoenas for documents and for grand jury testimony. Many of the individuals who testified before the grand jury were contributors to and supporters of Senator John Edwards' 2004 vice presidential campaign.
The plaintiffs assert that by Congress giving "exclusive jurisdiction" over the Act to the Commission, no criminal investigation can take place unless the Commission has formally referred the criminal matters to the Department of Justice. The complaint then charges that Attorney Gonzales intentionally interfered with the Commission's investigation and that the Commission's failure to conduct its own investigation violates the Act and the APA.
The plaintiffs ask the court to:
- Declare the actions of the Commission and the Attorney General unlawful;
- Declare that the Commission has failed to uphold the Act;
- Issue a Writ of Mandamus requiring the Commission to conduct its own investigation into the matter prior to any investigation by the Attorney General; and
- Award costs and attorneys' fees.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 2:07CV10533.