Former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Al Salvi’s revelation this week that IRS official Lois Lerner offered to drop the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) 1996 case against him if he promised to never run for office again was the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
“Before Lois Lerner took us before the federal judge, her last offer was for me to promise to never run for office again. That was always part of their demands,” Salvi said. “Before that last offer, another FEC representative that reported to Lerner wanted $200,000 and a promise not to run.”
Knowing his $1.1 million campaign loan to himself was legal, Salvi rejected the initial settlement offer from FEC attorney Colleen Sealander. In later conversations, Sealander lowered the amount to $100,000, then $40,000, but always with the additional promise to never run for office again…
…After the May 2000 dismissal, there was no contact from the FEC or from the IRS. However, there was from the FBI. In the fall of 2000, FBI agents knocked on the door of the Salvis’ home and said they wanted to ask him about his mother’s $2000 donation to his 1996 U.S. Senate campaign.
“That visit from the FBI was significant,” Salvi said. “That meant a criminal investigation, not a civil disagreement with the elections commission. And, if a person lies to the FBI, they can go to jail.”
Salvi said he reviewed the situation with the agents, and told them they were being used for political purposes. The two agents visited with his elderly mother and soon after, notified Salvi they were terminating the investigation.