(CNN) – The verbal back-and-forth between former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) continued Wednesday as O'Donnell made her case for why the group should lose its nonprofit status as a 501(c)3.
"We're fighting back because while I'm certainly not the first person they've come after, I would like to be the last," O'Donnell said on a conference call with reporters. "I would like to stop this."
CREW filed a complaint against the Republican candidate in September 2010 over allegations she misspent more than $20,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. O'Donnell admitted she used campaign funds for rent, but said her house also served as the headquarters for her campaign.
The federal probe into her campaign officially closed in July, but O'Donnell, who lost her third Senate bid to Democrat Chris Coons, said the group will continue their "sleazy, underhanded and illegal tactics" against candidates in the next election unless their status is revoked.
"What CREW has done is use the justice system as a political weapon and we want to stop that," O'Donnell said.
Her attorney, Cleta Mitchell, said the group should lose their nonprofit standing on the grounds they intervened in political campaigning, engaged in partisan activities, used expenditures for private benefit and launched attacks on the basis of race. Groups with the 501(c)3 classification are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities or intervening in the elections of public officials.
Anne Weismann, the chief counsel for CREW said O'Donnell's accusations are "without merit."
"It's no coincidence she is doing this at the same time she is pushing her new book," Weismann told CNN.
– CNN's Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.