A review of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan's campaign finance reports shows that he has paid attorneys representing him in various investigations of his conduct and related lawsuits at least $145,000 this year.
Most of that, $121,000, went to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Patton Boggs, which has represented him during investigations by the Federal Elections Commission, House Ethics Committee and the U.S. Department of Justice. (The FEC closed its investigation of Buchanan's fund-raising without taking action against them, and the Ethics Committee closed its review of whether Buchanan lied on financial disclosure reports. A separate Ethics Committee probe and the Justice Department investigation are still pending.)
Also, more than $24,600 has been paid this year to the Orlando office of Holland and Knight, which is representing Buchanan in several lawsuits.
The $145,000 in legal bills represents about 9.5 percent of Buchanan's spending on his re-election campaign, as of June 30.