Rep. Cori Bush should be cleared in the complaint for using campaign funds to hire her husband, the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously recommended.Bush (R-Mo.) paid her now-husband Cortney Merritts at least $60,000 with campaign funds in 2022, which triggered an ethics complaint from conservative groups earlier this year. The Missouri congresswoman hailed the recommendation for dismissal as “welcome and long overdue,” while taking aim at “right-wing sycophants and extremists” for pushing for an inquiry.“The political attacks on my campaign are a clear example of how right-wing extremist groups will stop at nothing to malign those of us unapologetically working in service of our communities,” Bush said in a defiant statement obtained by The Post.“The right-wing sycophants and extremists that make up Donald Trump’s MAGA Republican Party of Insurrection want me to expend energy and financial resources to defend myself against these distractions. But their grift won’t work.”The progressive Democrat received a letter informing her about the OCE panel’s decision last month, but her campaign confirmed it to The Post Thursday.Bush officially tied the knot with Merritts back in February. Her campaign made the payments to him between January 2022 and December 2022 for security, per Federal Election Commission filings. Most of the payments to him came in the form of bimonthly stipends of $2,500 apiece, with some exceptions.Her campaign also paid St. Louis company PEACE Security, over $225,000 for protection, according to filings. Ethics complaints against Bush were filed by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust and the Committee to Defeat the President super PAC, both of which are conservative groups. “It appears Rep. Bush’s campaign may have made payments for services that were unnecessary or above fair market value because of her personal relationship with the payee,” FACT executive director Kendra Arnold wrote in a complaint filed earlier this year. “If so, these payments would qualify as either impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift.”Under FEC rules, campaigns can only make payments on “bona fide” services; payments to family members are otherwise restricted.Bush, a promulgator of the “defund the police” movement, began making payments to Merritts roughly two weeks after her vehicle was struck by gunfire in January of early last year.Payments to Merritts continued even after the complaints were filed. Her campaign recently sent him $12,500 between July and August, according to filings.Merrits did not have a private security license in St. Louis County or the city of St. Louis, which are in Bush’s congressional district, according to FACT.In 2018, he established a moving firm named Vetted Movers and Couriers and in a post on social media, he appeared to pitch his services to then-aspiring House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during his grovel for the gavel back in January of this year.I'm at the Capitol offering to help Kevin McCarthy move his shit out of the Speaker's office and back into his own.
27 Ekim 2023 - 02:45
Ethics Office recommends clearing Cori Bush over campaign payments to her husband
So-called “Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush was unanimously cleared by the Office of Congressional Ethics over her use of campaign funds to hire her husband.
27 Ekim 2023 - 02:45