In a terse note responding to the Federal Election Commission, the old campaign committee for former Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said it intends to keep operating even if the congressman has no intention of again running for office.

But the FEC also has questions about how it is operating, including thousands in expenses for security, which is allowed for sitting members of Congress but not former members.

King, 79, who left office in 2021, has almost $400,000 remaining in his old congressional campaign account, according to the latest FEC filing. The account is subject to FEC rules and oversight.

In September, the FEC questioned expenditures that Pete King for Congress reported in the first half of this year.

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“Your most recent report discloses a significant amount of residual cash on hand,” the FEC’s letter said. “Please explain the committee's intended use of the residual campaign funds. … Be aware that committee assets, including cash-on-hand, may not be converted to personal use.”

In response, Pete King for Congress told the FEC in October that its spending was entirely for campaign committee business and that salaries paid by the campaign committee were for “services related to the prior office holding of the former Congressman.”

Former congressional candidates may use excess campaign funds to make donations to other political campaigns, give to certain non-profits and pay expenses related to winding down a campaign committee. They may also disgorge it to the U.S. Treasury’s general fund.

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King’s expenses from the first half of 2023 include $12,372.22 in payments to American Express for a credit card, but the FEC filing contains no detail on how the money was spent. The filing lists $17,314 in payments to individuals as “salary” with no detail on the work performed.

Neither King nor Anne Rosenfeld, the treasurer of Pete King for Congress, responded to Raw Story’s requests for comment. King is currently a registered lobbyist with Eckert Seamans working for clients including JetBlue and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

King’s third quarter FEC report could raise more red flags. That’s based on how the filing characterizes some of his spending: “security related to prior position.”

King reported spending $4,269.08 in the third quarter of this year on security — specifically, payments to four individuals for “salary” related to security.

The FEC has previously weighed in on similar matters.

When former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) asked the FEC in 2017 if he could use excess campaign funds to repair his home security system, the FEC drafted a proposed opinion that denied the request. Gallegly withdrew his request before the opinion could be presented to FEC commissioners.

The opinion stated that excess campaign funds “may not be used to pay for the repair or replacement of Mr. Gallegly’s home security system, because doing so would constitute an impermissible personal use of campaign funds under the Act and Commission regulations.”

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Such situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine “whether the expense would fall within the definition of ‘personal use’; that is, whether the expense would exist irrespective of a candidate’s campaign or an individual’s duties as an officeholder.”

King retired after 28 years in Congress. He was known as a moderate but was accused of demonizing American Muslims for chairing congressional hearings in 2011 on the radicalization of American Muslims and for saying there were “too many mosques in this country.” He also supported former President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order halting immigration from certain predominantly Muslim countries.

In September, King wrote in The Hill about going back to Capitol Hill and seeing the dysfunction in the Republican Party.

“Today’s dissidents are at best ego-driven headline hunters or hopelessly naive innocents trying to prove they are the most conservative of the conservatives,” King said.

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