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Molloy decision allowing release of secret 'dark money' campaign documents appealed

Molloy decision allowing release of secret 'dark money' campaign documents appealed

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District Judge Donald Molloy

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy is shown in this file photograph in his chambers at the Russell Smith Federal Courthouse in downtown Missoula.

HELENA — Two political consultants are appealing a judge's ruling over campaign documents tied to a secretive conservative group that turned up at the Montana office of political practices.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals received the appeal Thursday from Christian and Allison Lefer. Two days earlier, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled Commissioner of Political Practices Jim Murry did nothing wrong in receiving the documents and letting others view them.

The Lefers say the documents were stolen from them. The documents included campaign materials for candidates in Montana and Colorado that were featured in a PBS "Frontline" documentary suggesting American Tradition Partnership improperly coordinated with Republican candidates.

Attorney Quentin Rhoades said Monday the Lefers are asking the 9th Circuit to rule they don't have to pay Murry's legal fees.

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