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Senator Mike Braun, R-IN, questions FBI Director Christopher Wray during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing June 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The committee is hearing testimony regarding the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 for the FBI. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)

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U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s Senate campaign must pay a $159,000 civil penalty to the Federal Election Commission for violating campaign finance rules during the 2018 election.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) voted 6-0 to accept the agreement, which calls for $159,000 fine. It is the second-largest fine ever imposed on a senatorial campaign and among the largest fines in the federal agency’s history.

The FEC had initially accused the campaign of illegally accepting improper loans, but after the campaign provided documentation clearing themselves of criminal wrongdoing, the FEC determined the wrongdoing amounted to clerical errors by the former treasurer, Travis Kabrick.

In a statement, Braun’s advisor Josh Kelley said that Braun’s current campaign treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, is exploring ways for his company, 9Seven Consulting – an FEC compliance firm where Kabrick also worked – to cover the fine.

“The agreement approved by the FEC makes it clear that former Treasurer Kabrick was responsible for the errors,” Kelley said. “He was provided all relevant information and documents from Mike Braun to properly report the loans, all loans were legal and proper, all the details were made public throughout the campaign, and the reporting errors by Mr. Kabrick were technical in nature.”

Datwyler also released a statement saying, “Despite having full access to all necessary information and documents, Mr. Kabrick’s reporting on the Committee’s campaign finance reports was technically flawed, although the underlying bank loans were legally and properly disclosed.”