U.S. Rep. Trahan Says Using Husband’s Money in Campaign is a Legal ‘Gray Area’

Congresswoman Lori Trahan at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee event in 2018. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan says it was a “gray area” in federal finance law to use $300,000 of her husband’s money in her successful congressional campaign last year.

In a statement, Trahan said she and her husband Dave agreed when they married in 2007 that, in her words, “All of the income that each of us earned would be our marital property, and each of us would have an equal right to manage and spend it.” She said she used, in part, her husband’s money that has since become the focus of a complaint before the Federal Election Commission.

“I didn’t give much thought to which bank account to use. We considered all of the income that Dave and I earned to be ours, and I had the same right as Dave did to manage and spend it.” She cited similar cases involving Jane Fonda, who supported her husband’s bid for public office, and presidential candidate Bob Dole where no federal violations were cited.

Koh speaks at Haverhill Democrats’ Unity Rally. (WHAV News photograph)

Trahan blames a “former opponent”—presumably Andover Democrat Dan Koh—for creating confusion about her family finances.

Last month, Koh told the Lowell Sun he wouldn’t challenge Trahan for the seat he lost by 145 votes if she releases financial documents. He said, “If Congresswoman Trahan releases the bank statements as well as the full client list from 2018 that is at the center of this ethics investigation, and it proves she did nothing wrong, I will not run.”

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