Updated Oct 13, 2021 - Politics

Report reveals Pennsylvania lawmakers' private legal spending

A $100 bill with tape over Ben Franklin's mouth.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Pennsylvania Legislature spent nearly $10 million on private lawyers over the last two years, per an investigation from Spotlight PA and The Caucus.

  • Cases ranged from public records disputes to attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the review found.

Why it matters: Both Republicans and Democrats have frequently concealed the reasons behind needing representation, shielding which lawmakers and staff asked for it.

  • Doing so defies case law that requires them to make such details public, Spotlight PA and The Caucus report.

What they're saying: Republican leaders told the news organizations that their lawyers can't devote time or work for these cases and that redactions are required to protect sensitive information.

  • Democrats in the House and Senate declined to comment.

The other side: "There's tremendous public interest in scrutinizing how these individuals tasked with representing our interests are conducting themselves ... including how they're spending our tax dollars," said Gunita Singh, an attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Read the full investigation.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the investigation was conducted by Spotlight PA and The Caucus.


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