Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib Both Hit With Allegations of Illegal Campaign Payments; FEC Complaint!

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib Both Hit With Allegations of Illegal Campaign Payments; FEC Complaint!

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Why does it seem like the Democrats always have their hand in the cookie jar?

With the cookie car of course being bank accounts that are not their own!

It’s happened again, at least according to new reports and an FEC complaint that was recently filed.  

Trending: Louisville Vandalism Erupts: Restaurants Destroyed; Business Owner Surrounded By Protesters

Of course, they’re both Democrats so will there be an actual honest investigation? 

I have an idea, how about we shift Mueller over to these two and let him do a real investigation?  

Anyone like that idea?

FEC Complaint against Ocasio-Cortez:

Here are more details, from the NY Post:

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign may have illegally paid her boyfriend through a political action committee during her congressional race, a Republican group alleges in a new complaint with the FEC.

The Coolidge Reagan Foundation alleged in the complaint that Brand New Congress PAC paid Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend, Riley Roberts, for marketing services after the PAC was hired by her campaign.

Using the third-party PAC to pay her boyfriend may have violated campaign-finance laws, a lawyer for the Coolidge Reagan Foundation told The Post.

“It is totally legal, as a candidate, to hire family members, people you know to work for you. But they didn’t do that,” said Attorney Dan Backer.

“Instead of paying him directly, they paid him through an intermediary — in order to obscure the fact that they paid him. The FEC should investigate and find out if that’s the case. That’s the allegation,” Backer added.

The Coolidge Reagan Foundation is seeking the FEC to investigate if the campaign violated finance laws that state campaign contributions “shall not be converted by any person to personal use.”

But the PAC that hired Roberts told Fox News, who first reported the story, that all the payments were legally sound.

“[Roberts] is a professional digital marketing and growth consultant who specializes in social media presence and subscriber engagement,” a spokeswoman for Brand New Congress PAC told Fox.

“He was hired through a two-month trial period, beginning on August 3, 2017, and worked through the end of September 2017,” the spokeswoman added. “Services to the Brand New Congress PAC consisted of advertising strategies for potential growth, developing metrics, and aiding in execution of strategy to increase brand awareness for the PAC as a whole.”

Fox News had more:

A Republican group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday alleging that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign may have illegally funneled thousands of dollars through an allied PAC to boyfriend Riley Roberts.

Members of the Washington, D.C.-based Coolidge Reagan Foundation allege in their complaint that when the Brand New Congress PAC (BNC) -- a political arm of Brand New Congress LLC, a company that was hired by Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to run and support her campaign -- paid Roberts for marketing services, it potentially ran afoul of campaign finance law.

“It’s not illegal for [Ocasio-Cortez] to pay her boyfriend, but it appears that they created some sort of scheme to avoid claiming the money [as a campaign expense],” Dan Backer, a D.C.-based attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of the foundation, told Fox News. “What exactly did he do for that money?”

It was first reported last week that the Brand New Congress PAC paid Roberts during the early days of the Ocasio-Cortez campaign. According to FEC records, the PAC made two payments to Roberts – one in August 2017 and one in September 2017 – both for $3,000.

The FEC complaint specifically cites the use of "intermediaries" to make the payments, "the vague and amorphous nature of the services Riley ostensibly provided," the relatively small amount of money raised by the campaign at that stage and "the romantic relationship between Ocasio-Cortez and Riley" in asserting the transactions might violate campaign finance law.

The Coolidge Reagan Foundation -- a 501(c)(3) -- is requesting that the FEC look into the payments for potential violations on relevant campaign finance laws that state that campaign contributions “shall not be converted by any person to personal use” and that “an authorized committee must report the name and address of each person who has received any disbursement not disclosed.”

Officials with BNC claimed in a previous statement, however, that everything was on the up and up regarding payments.

“[Roberts] is a professional digital marketing and growth consultant who specializes in social media presence and subscriber engagement,” said BNC’s Communications Director Zeynab Day, adding that his hiring was based “on his experience managing successful advertising and social media campaigns.”

“He was hired through a 2 month trial period, beginning on August 3, 2017, and worked through the end of September 2017,” she added. “Services to the Brand New Congress PAC consisted of advertising strategies for potential growth, developing metrics, and aiding in execution of strategy to increase brand awareness for the PAC as a whole.”

Wednesday's complaint comes after a blog post on Medium by political consultant Luke Thompson, who first flagged the payments to Roberts.

Allegations against Tlaib:

Fox News is also investigation new allegations against Rep. Tlaib, also for illegal use of campaign finances:

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is facing questions after campaign records revealed she paid herself $17,500 as a salary after the midterm elections, in what appeared to be a violation of campaign finance rules, a report said.

Tlaib, a firebrand freshman Democrat from Detroit, has been facing scrutiny over her connections to radical anti-Israel activists and a profane call to impeach President Trump.

She caused uproar on Capitol Hill earlier this week by insinuating that Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. -- her colleague on the House Oversight and Reform Committee -- had used Trump family friend Lynne Patton, an African-American, as a racist “prop” during former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s appearance before the panel. (Later, Tlaib and Meadows were seen sharing an embrace on the House floor, after apparently resolving their differences.)

Yet the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) may land the radical congresswoman into hot water with questions on whether her campaign broke the rules after making salary payments to Tlaib after Election Day last year.

Tlaib’s campaign began paying her a salary of about $4,000 every month since May 2018 up until the general election Nov. 6 – a perfectly legal practice if the campaign chose to do so. But according to the filings, as first spotted by the Washington Free Beacon, Tlaib also paid herself $2,000 on Nov. 16 and a whopping $15,500 on Dec. 1 – weeks after the election was over, in an apparent violation of FEC statutes.

The FEC rules state that a general election candidate is allowed to dip into campaign coffers to give himself or herself a salary only up to the election date. The candidate can no longer draw a salary after the election date, or because of other reasons that ended the campaign.

“If the candidate loses the primary, withdraws from the race, or otherwise ceases to be a candidate, no salary payments may be paid beyond the date he or she is no longer a candidate,” the rules state.

“If the candidate loses the primary, withdraws from the race, or otherwise ceases to be a candidate, no salary payments may be paid beyond the date he or she is no longer a candidate.”

— Federal Election Commission rules

A Tlaib ally, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., grabbed headlines last year after saying that due to the rules that prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay a salary after the election date, she would have trouble finding an apartment in Washington, D.C. until she began receiving a paycheck for her work in Congress.

“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times at the time.

Tlaib’s office didn’t respond to Fox News’ request for a comment and clarification of the nature of the salary payment.

An FEC spokesperson told the Washinton Free Beacon that candidates are allowed to make payments to themselves after the election -- but only for activities that happened during the election period.

An election law and government ethics lawyer also told the outlet that Tlaib may have deflated her monthly payments during the campaign for political purposes while “knowing full well that she would make up any difference at the end by giving herself a lump sum payment.”

“That would let her skirt negative publicity, of the sort that Alan Keyes generated when he paid himself a sizable salary. An after-the-fact, lump-sum payment cuts against the purpose of the rule, which is to help the candidate pay for daily living expenses while campaigning,” the lawyer added.

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