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Tennessee senator indicted on campaign cash scheme charges

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Sen. Kelsey
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Tenn. State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R) Germantown, TN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee state senator and a Nashville social club owner have been indicted on charges they illegally concealed the transfer of $91,000 during the Republican lawmaker’s 2016 failed congressional campaign.

Federal investigators on Monday announced a five-count indictment against Sen. Brian Kelsey and Joshua Smith. Handed down by a grand jury on Friday, the indictent alleges that Kelsey and Smith “unlawfully and secretly” funneled funds from the lawmaker’s state Senate campaign committee to his federal congressional campaign committee.

Kelsey declared himself “totally innocent." Smith's attorney says he and his client “look forward to presenting our proof to an impartial jury and judge.”

If convicted, Kelsey and Smith face up to five years in prison on each count.