MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Sen. Brian Kelsey filed a motion Thursday for a change of plea hearing in his federal campaign finance case.
Kelsey pleaded not guilty to the charges last November.
The filing in district court in Nashville comes nearly one year to the day after Kelsey was indicted by a federal grand jury in a campaign finance scheme, along with co-defendant Joshua Smith, a Nashville social club owner who ran a political action committee.
Smith entered a guilty plea in the case two weeks ago.
According to the Department of Justice, Kelsey, Smith, and others “allegedly orchestrated the concealed movement of $91,000 to a national political organization for the purpose of funding advertisements that urged voters to support Kelsey in the August 2016 primary election, and that the conspirators caused the political organization to make $80,000 worth of contributions to Kelsey’s federal campaign committee in the form of coordinated expenditures.”
Kelsey had previously proclaimed his innocence, pleading not guilty last year and calling the case a “political witch hunt.”
“The Biden Administration is trying to take me out because I’m conservative and I’m the number one target of the Tennessee Democratic Party,” Kelsey said in October 2021.
Kelsey (R-Germantown) represents parts of east Shelby County and East Memphis in the Tennessee Senate. He announced in March he would not seek re-election.
His trial was scheduled to move forward in January 2023.