Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a member of the progressive Democrat group known as the “Squad” and advocate of defunding the police, may be charged with an ethics violation.
The controversy centers on Bush directing tens of thousands in campaign funds to her husband, Cortney Merritts, for fees for providing “security services.”
RTM previously reported that Bush campaigned and fundraised by using government resources — a video of House proceedings — that she quote-tweeted, highlighting her grievance with GOP bills she called “racist.”
Critics have charged Bush with illegal activity and hypocrisy as she has advocated for the defunding of law enforcement in the past.
Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky told the Daily Caller: “Federal law and FEC regulations strictly limit the use of federal campaign funds. Under 52 U.S.C. 30114 and FEC regulation 11 CFR 113.1 (g)(H), salary payments can be made to a member of a candidate’s family but only if the family member is providing bona fide services to the campaign at fair market value.”
Spakovsky added: “If these are not payments for actual services being provided, or if he is being paid more than the fair market value of his services, then Bush is violating federal campaign finance law. If she is doing it knowingly and intentionally, it goes from being a civil violation to a possible criminal violation.”
Fox News reported that Bush paid Merritts more than $60,000 for security services in 2022.
FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold told the Daily Caller: “Rep. Bush’s payments to her husband are the subject of FACT’s complaint before the OCE because numerous facts indicate her payments to him may not have been for bona fide services at a fair market value as required by law.”
Arnold added: “[There is] the possibility that he was providing security services that were unnecessary and duplicative, and he didn’t have a license to provide those services.”
Noting that Bush attempted to obscure the nature of the payments, Arnold said: “This re-characterization of the payments to her husband appears to be an attempt to hide information from the public, which is contrary to the law that requires a candidate to clearly describe the ‘purpose of disbursement.’ Especially in this case, the description of ‘wage expenses’ fails to provide adequate information to the public.”
Blasting Bush’s actions, the Committee to Defeat the President (CDP) Chairman Ted Harvey said: “Cori Bush is competing hard to be The Squad’s most corrupt member, but we think it ought to be a race to hold her accountable — in Washington, D.C. and back home in Missouri.”
Harvey added: “For someone who complains so much about the American system, she sure knows how to exploit it for power and profit, breaking campaign finance laws — and multiple local laws — in the process.”
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