Maggie Hassan Wants to Give Back Boston Lawyers’ Money

She's among many Democrats shunning funds from the Thornton Law Firm.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who you may have noticed is running for Senate, says she wants to give back the donations she received from a Boston law firm at the center of a Spotlight-investigated scandal.

Hassan’s campaign “will be returning the contributions” from Boston’s Thornton Law Firm,” her spokesman Aaron Jacobs tells the Globe, adding that she was not aware of any alleged improprieties when she accepted the funds, which totaled $51,000 for her Senate campaign and from when she ran for governor.

The move comes after the Globe’ s famed team of investigators published a story that appears to suggest the company gave “bonuses” to its partners that closely matched donations they gave to politicians, most of them Democrats, who the firm hoped would advocate for policy that would help its business. If true, the set-up could be a violation of the law governing how much an individual can give to a campaign. The firm, through a lawyer, tells the Globe it believes its actions were legal.

But with an election not far off, Hassan is moving quickly to distance herself from a potential political land mine. She is neck-and-neck with her opponent, Republican Kelly Ayotte, in the battle for Ayotte’s Senate seat, a closely watched race in a purple state that could be an important one in deciding the balance of power in the Congress.

Hassan isn’t the only one who might have to answer for Thornton donations. Others who have received donations from the practice include Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, according to the Spotlight team.

Politico is now reporting that other Democrats plan to return donations from the firm, too: Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Nevada candidate Catherine Cortez Masto, and Pennsylvania candidate Katie McGinty.

And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is reviewing donations it received from the firm, Politico reports.