HELENA — A judge won't grant former Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill immunity from a possible state investigation into a $500,000 campaign donation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong ruled against Hill's argument the threat of an investigation discourages him from giving the $300,000 left from his failed campaign to the state Republican Party for the 2014 elections.

Hill argues that has a chilling effect on his First Amendment right to free speech.

Strong ruled Friday any potential threat to Hill is speculative and remote.

The state GOP donated the money to Hill's campaign last October after a judge ruled the state's donation limits were unconstitutional.

An appeal in that case and the state's investigation into Hill's donation both have been stayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considers another case with similar issues.

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