$1.2 million anti-Kavanaugh crowdfunding campaign tests federal bribery laws

Liberal groups are testing a new crowdfunding tactic in their battle against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — and are testing the limits of campaign finance laws with their attempt to force one GOP senator to vote “No.”

The initiative has secured pledges of $1.2 million, which the groups say they’ll direct to an opponent of Sen. Susan Collins, should she vote to confirm Mr. Trump’s pick, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. Only if she votes for the nomination will the donors’ credit cards be charged.

Ms. Collins and her defenders say that sounds an awful lot like bribery, threatening her political future in exchange for her shaping her vote.

Campaign legal experts, though, were less certain, saying that as long as the funders aren’t offering Ms. Collins the money, it may be perfectly legal.

“It’s a new form of strategy, that is for sure, but I do think it is covered still under legitimate campaign activity,” said Gary Rose, a political science professor at Sacred Heart University.

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