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VOL. 45 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 22, 2021

Tennessee lawmaker: FBI took all campaign files in search

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NASHVILLE (AP) — One of several Republican state lawmakers in Tennessee whose homes and legislative offices were searched by federal agents this month says the FBI confiscated all files and documents related to his campaign.

Newly sworn-in Republican Rep. Todd Warner provided the details in an email to Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Ethics Commission officials last Friday to explain why he could not complete his most recent campaign finance report on time.

The correspondence from Warner, a Chapel Hill freshman lawmaker, gives the clearest indication to date that the federal investigation is at least partly campaign finance-focused. Warner defeated former Rep. Rick Tillis in an August primary election.

"The FBI confiscated all files and documents related to my campaign including check copies from donations and checking account ledgers," Warner wrote. "They also took all computers and back ups for the Campaign and my business. I will get the information to you as soon as the documents / computers are released."

Federal authorities have not indicated what they are investigating after showing up to search the homes and legislative offices of Warner, former GOP House Speaker Glen Casada, state Rep. Robin Smith and former Casada chief of staff Cade Cothren. Agents visited Warner's business address as well.

In addition, three legislative staffers were subject to the search early this month and placed on paid administrative leave. The searches took place at the legislative office building in downtown Nashville and other locations across the state.

Lance Frizzell, deputy director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Ethics Commission, said his staff doesn't have statutory authority to defer a campaign finance filing, so the Registry of Election Finance board will have to consider what to do about Warner missing the Monday deadline to file his latest report.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0