Politics

‘The Squad’ Is Mired In Campaign Finance Scandals

spending bill ugly money bills campaign finance scandals squadThe three most prolific members of the so-called “squad” of freshman Democratic congresswoman face allegations of violating campaign finance laws and House ethics rules for their personal or political benefit 10 months into their terms.

Below are the Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaints and House ethics inquiries that have been filed against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan since they took Washington, D.C., by storm in January with the promise of bringing about a more equitable and just world.

Ocasio-Cortez Could Face ‘Jail Time’ Over Unreported Affiliation With Outside PAC

Ocasio-Cortez’s political rise in 2018 was made possible in large part to Justice Democrats PAC, an outside political action committee that recruited her to enter politics in 2017 and provided much of her campaign’s staffing and overhead needs in the lead-up to her June 2018 primary victory over former Rep. Joe Crowley.

Ocasio-Cortez’s relationship with Justice Democrats became the subject of intense scrutiny in 2019, resulting in two complaints submitted to the FEC.

One complaint, submitted in April, centered on Ocasio-Cortez’s control over Justice Democrats while the PAC was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign.

Ocasio-Cortez and her former campaign chair Saikat Chakrabarti were appointed to hold two of the PAC’s three board seats in December 2017, but the Federal Election Commission was never notified of the affiliation between her campaign and Justice Democrats.

Multiple former FEC commissioners told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Ocasio-Cortez could face civil or criminal penalties for failing to disclose her campaign’s affiliation to the outside PAC.

“At minimum, there’s a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze,” said former FEC Chairman Brad Smith.

“If this were determined to be knowing and willful, they could be facing jail time,” Smith said. “Even if it’s not knowing and willful, it would be a clear civil violation of the act. … I think they’ve got some real issues here.”

Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky added: “If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions.”

Another complaint, submitted in March, alleged that Chakrabarti, who served as Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff until August, was running a slush fund during the 2018 midterms by diverting $1 million from Justice Democrats PAC to an LLC under his control.

“It appears Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her associates ran an off-the-books operation to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, thus violating the foundation of all campaign finance laws: transparency,” said National Legal and Policy Center Director Tom Anderson, who filed the complaint.

The FEC is currently investigating the complaints filed against Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats. Ocasio-Cortez confirmed in August that she’s been in conversation with the FEC, saying that she was “in total compliance” and dismissing the complaints as “a form of legal trolling” from “fringe, Republican groups.”

Ilhan Omar Diverts Campaign Funds To Alleged Boyfriend

Omar’s alleged abuse of campaign funds began long before her congressional campaign in 2018.

Minnesota’s Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ordered Omar in June to repay her state campaign $3,500 it had improperly spent for non-campaign purposes in 2016 and 2017 during her tenure as a state legislator. Omar was also required to pay a $500 civil penalty for using campaign funds to travel to a non-campaign related conference in Florida.

Reports surfaced in August that Omar was having an affair with married Democratic consultant Tim Mynett, according to a divorce filing by his wife, Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett.

FEC records revealed that Omar’s campaign had disbursed tens of thousands of dollars in “travel expenses” to Tim Mynett’s company, E. Street Group, LLC.

Omar’s campaign began making travel payments to Tim Mynett’s company on April 1, about a week before his wife alleged in her divorce filing that he admitted to having an affair with the congresswoman.

Tim Mynett has been pictured traveling with Omar across the country in recent months. In one picture, obtained by the Daily Mail, the two were holding hands.

Tim Mynett’s “more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments,” Beth Mynett said in her divorce filing.

Omar’s campaign payments to Tim Mynett’s firm prompted the National Legal and Policy Center to file an FEC complaint against Omar’s campaign alleging that she was using campaign funds to pursue a romantic affair.

Anderson, of the National Legal and Policy Center, told the DCNF: “We believe Representative Ilhan Omar may have touched the third rail of campaign finance law: disbursing campaign funds for personal use. It’s a brazen act Representative Omar was caught doing before in Minnesota and all of the evidence we’ve seen tells us she’s probably doing it again.”

Omar’s attorneys dismissed the National Legal and Policy Center’s FEC complaint and called it a baseless “political ploy.”

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch also submitted a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics in September asking for an investigation into Omar’s campaign payments to Tim Mynett’s company.

Omar ramped up her campaign spending to Tim Mynett’s firm in the third quarter of 2019, according to an FEC filing in October. About 30% of Omar’s campaign spending from July through September went to his firm. In total, Omar’s campaign has disbursed $370,000 to Tim Mynett’s firm.

House Ethics Panel Recommends Subpoena Over Rashida Tlaib’s Campaign Payments

The five members of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) board voted unanimously in November to recommend the House Ethics Committee continue its investigation into whether Tlaib improperly diverted campaign funds for her personal use.

House rules allow candidates to receive a salary from their campaign up to what they earned the year prior to their campaign; however, they’re only allowed to receive such payments until the date of their election.

Tlaib had received over $17,500 from her campaign after her election victory in November 2018 in an apparent violation of House rules.

“If Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,” OCE said.

OCE said Tlaib and her staffers refused interviews to discuss the suspect salary payments.

Tlaib has denied wrongdoing and said in a statement she “received the minimum salary payments necessary for me to meet my personal financial obligations.”

Reprinted with permission from - Conservative Daily News - by Andrew Kerr

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Filada
10 months ago

And yet, I don’t hear about any of this in the mainstream media outlets.

R shoemaker
10 months ago

They are just like the environmentalist who fly private jets (tons of carbon) to meetings on how they (THE ELITE) will save the planet by enforcing rules on the rest of us. The bottom line is the Squad believes they are exempt from the rules because they are going to save the world and the rest of us are just pawns.

Keith
10 months ago

no one gets in trouble over campaign finance or ethics violations, unless you are Republican.

M. Franklin
10 months ago

Neither of these Socialist, America-hating crooks will ever see a courtroom let alone a jail cell. Justice is DEAD if you’re a Liberal/Left-wing/Socialist, America-hating ‘Democrat’.

Paul DAscenz
10 months ago

The Squad. I consider them as Domestic Terrorists. Ilhan Omar should be imprisoned. Then Deport her from the USA forever. The other three should be outed from their House of Representatives seats based on their hatred of the USA. Get them out of office.

Veteran
10 months ago

And yet none of the corruptocrats has been moved to new long term accommodations in the gun free nirvana of their dreams called prison. Thanks to their enabling Deep State Democrat/Communist/Globalists have been “more equal than others” for a very long time, i.e. the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Obamas, Adam Schiff, Nancy P. as George Orwell wrote so well in his novel “Animal Farm. You can ask anyone who ever lived under the brutal yoke of a communist dictatorship, if they happened to have the good fortune to survive it, how “equal” the treatment of their “dear leaders” was and… Read more »

Rick J.
10 months ago

Why am I not surprised. They are following in the footsteps of their mentor Bernie Sanders.

Stephen Russell
10 months ago

Time to again reform Campaign Finance & end the abuse once & for all.
END this, for both sides, odd how Dems abuse CFR.

Glenn Lego
10 months ago

Every one of them has an opponent. Vote for them and get these people out of office.

Todd Taylor
10 months ago

What do you expect when we do away with absolute Truth? There is no moral compass for the liberal left; they make their own rules that serve self.

General Patton
10 months ago

Lock these 3 buffoons up

Denise
10 months ago

What a disgrace to America!

carol
10 months ago

Animal Farm! Rules for the pigs are different than the rules for the rest of us animals!

Shuttle Guy
10 months ago

My faith in the Gov’t doing the right thing and prosecuting the “Dog Squad” is ZERO!

Ron Ellerhoff
10 months ago

For these three women nothing is about saving the world, regardless of what they ever say. It only has to do with power, which is initially seen as their grabs for personal financial benefits at the expense of others. We have seen nothing yet, if they are not held to answer in a serious manner now!

Diana
10 months ago

All 4 need removed and 2 need deported citizenship revoked by far are not Americans and want the destruction of America, we have to get more aggressive to people that are out to destroy America our Constitution, that by far only care for the destruction of our Country, that includes politicians, judges, state and federal employees, we are the ones that half to demand any and all that try and change our way of life be deported and I know this can be done and should be, look what has happened to our country from not taking care in who… Read more »

Jack Muckey
10 months ago

Please follow up and put these people out of our Congressional Brance of our Government.

Scott Berg
10 months ago

Hi All ~ Ya know I tend to get discouraged with our government as a whole because it seems regardless of who or what violation of any rule or law, there is never any accountability even when they have them dead to rights on the issue” untill something along those lines actually happens I’m not going to put too much stock in our rule of law, at least not for those residing in the Capitol Hill bubble 🤔

Glenn
10 months ago

Shocking? No. What took them so long?

Art
10 months ago

I’ve seen bits and pieces of these “allegations” and nothing else. This stuff is not MSM material because ______ ( fill in the blank). The term “Ethics Committee” is loosely applied. How has Pressley escaped? I do not believe that anything will come of this outburst of apparent outrage(political speak for very short term fake feelings). NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE COMMITTEES. PINKY SLAP AND YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY AS A SHOW OF ACTION.

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