Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Justice Department investigating Rep. Cori Bush campaign’s use of security funds

By 37ci3 Jan 30, 2024


WASHINGTON — Cory Bush, D-Mo., a key progressive and former Black Lives Matter organizer, is being investigated by the Justice Department over his campaign’s security spending, he confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

“We are fully cooperating with this investigation,” Bush said, denying any wrongdoing.

“Before taking the oath of office, I endured brutal threats to my physical safety and life. As a ranking member of Congress, I am not entitled to the personal protection of the House of Representatives, and instead have authorized the use of campaign funds to maintain the security services,” Bush said in his statement. “I have not used any federal tax dollars. for personal security services. “Any report that I use federal funds for my personal security is simply false.”

The DOJ recently issued a grand jury subpoena to the house sergeant at arms for the documents, it was made public on the House floor on Monday. But it was not disclosed at the time that it was the focus of a federal investigation.

Cory Bush
Bush said his campaign is cooperating with the DOJ investigation.J. Scott Applewhite / AP file

Two sources confirmed this on Monday night The DOJ was investigating a Democratic lawmaker’s use of security funds, but the member remained unknown. PunchBowl News first reported Tuesday that Bush, D-St.Louis, is the Democrat under investigation.

Bush, who unseated longtime Rep. Lacy Clay in the 2020 Democratic primary, came under scrutiny last February when he placed her on the campaign payroll for providing bodyguards after she married her bodyguard, Courtney Merritts. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Conservative watchdog groups have filed at least two complaints against Bush with the Federal Election Commission. Federal law prohibits lawmakers from paying family members to work in their official offices, but they are allowed to pay relatives for campaign work “as long as the family member provides bona fide services to the campaign.” However, the law states that payments “in excess of fair market value” are prohibited.

Bush acknowledged in a statement Tuesday that she kept her husband as part of her security team because he “has extensive experience in this field and can provide the necessary services at or below fair market value.”

The secretary notified the legislators publicly call request But few details were offered when the House opened its session on Monday.

“This is to formally notify you pursuant to Rule 8 of the rules of the House of Representatives that the office of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives has been served with a grand jury subpoena for documents issued by the United States Department of Justice,” House Reading Clerk Susan Cole, House at Arms said Sergeant William McFarland, reading the notice.

“After consulting with the House General Counsel, I have determined that complying with the subpoena is within the rights and privileges of the House,” McFarland’s statement read by Cole continued.

Representatives of both Republican and Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives declined to comment.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., had no comment Tuesday when asked about Bush at a leadership news conference, calling it “something for the Justice Department.”

“I haven’t talked to him,” Aguilar said.



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