The House Ethics Committee just announced that they are expanding an investigation into Democrat congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for potential campaign finance violations.
The decision follows the release of email and text messages from 2018 between Tlaib and members of her staff in which she asked for campaign funds to be given to her for personal uses.
One of the emails reads:
So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k.
I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.
If charged for campaign finance violations, Tlaib will be the 3rd “Squad” member (along with AOC and Ilhan Omar) to face a campaign finance scandal.
Here’s the breaking news that hit Twitter:
Looks like Rashida's own words have come back to bite her:
Fox News has more details:
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday released a trove of striking internal campaign communications sent in 2018 by Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, in which Tlaib urgently requested money from her congressional campaign to defray personal expenses -- and, a government watchdog said, possibly violated federal law in the process.
The document dump was related to the committee's ongoing ethics probe into Tlaib, which the panel said on Thursday would be "expanded" based on a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). Additionally, the Ethics Committee acknowledged for the first time on Thursday an investigation into Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings concerning a "personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office."
Texts and emails released by the Ethics Committee show Tlaib frantically contacting members of her staff for financial help.
In one April 2018 email offered as an exhibit by OCE, Tlaib wrote that she was "struggling financially right now" and was "sinking." She continued: "So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k."
In another email, on April 4, 2018, Tlaib wrote: "I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend."
"With the loss of a second income to lean back on," she wrote. "I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000. The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities. Please let me know if I can proceed."
In August of that year, Tlaib texted her future chief of staff Ryan Anderson at 6:38 a.m.: "Sorry for the early text but do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt."
"I think we definitely afford to do so. But we need to really clearly define your time and space," Anderson responded, noting that the arrangement could arouse "concern" among the media.
The OCE also attached scans of checks made out to Tlaib from her campaign, totaling thousands of dollars.
The New York Post also said:
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday reportedly released a cache of documents related to their campaign finance probe of Rep. Rashida Tlaib that reveal the depth of the lawmaker’s financial woes leading up to her 2018 Election Day win.
The committee said the investigation — which opened in August — into whether the Michigan congresswoman misused campaign funds for personal use will also be “expanded” at the request of the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to Fox News.
Tlaib, in an April 2018 email to her campaign, explained how she was “struggling financially right now.”
“So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k,” she wrote in the email, which was released by OCE and obtained by the network.
In another April email, Tlaib wrote, “I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.”
Tlaib requested a “cost of living stipend” of $2,000 every two weeks, not to exceed $12,000 to cover “needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities.”
The Washington Examiner added:
The House Ethics Committee said it is gathering facts in a review of potential campaign finance violations by Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
Federal Election Commission filings show that after Tlaib's election in 2018, to her first term, she paid herself a total of $17,500 from her campaign chest. Although congressional candidates can pay themselves during their election cycle, they are restricted from drawing a salary after they are elected.
In a statement Thursday, the ethics committee's members said the review is not the same as an investigation of Tlaib, 43, who represents a Detroit district.