AOC’s Chief of Staff Under Investigation For Running $1M Slush Fund Abruptly Resigns


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti suddenly, unexpectedly resigned Friday, prompting suspicion into why he, along with one other top aide, walked out on AOC.

Chakrabarti had repeatedly found himself in the center of controversy and made several statements that earned him the rebuke of AOC, including the time he admitted that, “the Green New Deal… wasn’t originally a climate thing at all…we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

However, Chakrabarti is now under investigation by federal authorities after a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission alleged that he funneled $1M in political contributions to private accounts!

Take a look at this breaking news that hit Twitter:

For some background on Chakrabarti's resignation, The Blaze gave these details:

                                                                                  

Saikat Chakrabarti resigned as the chief of staff for Ocasio-Cortez after a series of controversies over his comments that led to a recriminations from the Democratic establishment and the progressive upstarts in the party.

Her communications director Corbin Trent also resigned from her D.C. office, but he is leaving so that he can work on the Ocasio-Cortez 2020 campaign. 

"Saikat has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal," Trent said in a statement

"We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14," Trent added. "From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat's goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that."

  

Chakrabarti started a firestorm when he mocked the moderates of the Democratic party by comparing them to segregationists. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) berated the progressive members of the party in a closed door meeting about the comments.

"Do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that is OK," she reportedly said.

Also, you can watch a video on the controversy that has surrounded Chakrabarti to get some more insight, here:

Regarding the resignation, Greg Abbott of Texas made a great point:

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The Washington Examiner has more details on the new allegations against Chakrabarti:

Two political action committees founded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top aide funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. 

           

The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat's chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of "dark money" in politics. 

           

Chakrabarti's companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used. 

          

                                

           

The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group. 

           

Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as “really weird” and an indication "there’s something amiss." They said there was no way of telling where the political donations went — meaning they could have been pocketed or used by the company to pay for off-the-books campaign operations. 

           

PACs are required to disclose how and when funds are spent, including for expenditures such as advertisements, fundraising emails, donations to candidates, and payments for events and to vendors. 

           

The private companies to which Chakrabarti transferred the money from the PACs are not subject to these requirements. 

The complaint names Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti as respondents. It asks the FEC to investigate and audit the two PACs, saying they were engaged in an "an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of campaign expenditures." 

           

Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center's Government Integrity Project, said: "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." 

           

Chakrabarti, 33, is a Harvard graduate and technology entrepreneur who became an organizer for Bernie Sanders during the socialist's 2016 presidential campaign. 

           

He founded a PAC called Brand New Congress in 2016 and another called Justice Democrats in 2017, with the stated goal of helping elect progressive candidates to Congress. One of those candidates was Ocasio-Cortez, who, last November, age 29, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. 

           

According to the Brand New Congress website, the PAC would build a "unified campaign" infrastructure including fundraising, organizing, rallies, and advertising progressive congressional candidates across the country could "plug into," saving the individual campaigns time and money. 

           

"Our idea is really to run a single unified presidential-style campaign that is going to look a lot like the Bernie Sanders campaign,” said Chakrabarti in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in May 2016. "The campaign infrastructure and fundraising is set aside from the campaigning." 

The New York Post also stated:

The Feds are looking into possible campaign finance misdeeds by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rainmaker, who suddenly resigned Friday, federal sources told The Post.

The inquiry centers on two political action committees founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, the top aide who quit along with Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent, the sources said. Trent left to join the congresswoman’s 2020 re-election campaign.

The brash Chakrabarti, who masterminded Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and steered her proposed Green New Deal, had caused uproar in the halls of Congress with a series of combative tweets that contributed to a rift between his rookie boss and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“People were not happy that he used his Twitter account to comment about members and the bills that he and his boss oppose,” a senior House Democratic staffer said. “There was a series of colliding and cascading grievances.”

The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.

But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.

In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 million, mostly from small donors. A third of the cash was transferred to two private companies whose names are similar to one of the PACs — Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC — federal campaign filings show.

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