Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. |  Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post , in the first case of its kind.  

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.  

“I’m guilty of this. I knew it was wrong when I did it," Harber said, according to the Post. “I got caught up in what politics has become."  

The charges stem from the 2012 campaign of Virginia Republican Chris Perkins, who was running a long-shot campaign against Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly in Virginia's heavily Democratic 11th District.  

Harber managed Perkins' campaign while at the same time working with a super PAC that spent $325,000 on campaign ads to boost Perkins' candidacy. Federal law prohibits campaigns and super PACs from coordinating.  

Harber also pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about the coordination.  

Harber's defense attorneys pleaded for leniency in Harber's sentence, calling him a father and a “promising, rising star in Republican campaign circles," according to the Post.  

A Tennessee native, Harber consulted with a number of elected Republican officials during the 2014 cycle, including Sen. James Lankford  in Oklahoma, Sen. Mike Lee's in Utah and Sen. David Perdue's in Georgia.  

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