President Trump issued his first veto, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is staying at the Department of Justice until the Mueller report is released, and the Mueller report…when will that be released. So, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is probably thankful that these stories, and others, sort of took her ethics fiasco off the radar. Yes, the little revolutionary that wants to kill the combustible engine, give welfare to lazy people, slaughter cows for farting, and revamp all buildings to energy efficient standards via the Green New Deal has some ethics problems.
It all began when it was discovered that AOC’s boyfriend has a congressional email account. He’s not a spouse. He’s not on staff. He shouldn’t have one. Political consultant Luke Thompson discovered this development within her office, which then snowballed into FEC complaints. Apparently, AOC and her now-chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, managed to get majority control of Justice Democrats PAC, which was the point of the lance in her primary challenge against Rep. Joe Crowley. They never disclosed that. On top of this, Chakrabarti is alleged to have taken nearly a million dollars off the books from PACS to companies where he had deep ties (via Fox News):
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti, the progressive firebrand's multimillionaire chief of staff, apparently violated campaign finance law by funneling nearly $1 million in contributions from political action committees Chakrabarti established to private companies that he also controlled, according to an explosive complaint filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and obtained by Fox News.
Amid the allegations, a former FEC commissioner late Monday suggested in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ocasio-Cortez and her team could separately be facing major fines and potentially even jail time if they were knowingly and willfully violating the law by hiding their control of the Justice Democrats political action committee (PAC). Such an arrangement could have allowed Ocasio-Cortez's campaign to receive donations in excess of the normal limit, by pooling contributions to both the PAC and the campaign itself.
The FEC complaint asserts that Chakrabarti established two PACs, the Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC, and then systematically transfered more than $885,000 in contributions received by those PACs to the Brand New Campaign LLC and the Brand New Congress LLC -- companies that, unlike PACs, are exempt from reporting all of their significant expenditures. The PACs claimed the payments were for "strategic consulting."
Like Trump, AOC fights back. In this case, however, she doled out some false claims in order to do so. The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson has more:
Ocasio-Cortez has already racked up three ethics complaints since taking office in January: two for allegedly misusing congressional resources, and one alleging her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, set up a million-dollar private slush fund.
Ocasio-Cortez has also faced legal scrutiny over her and Chakrabarti’s control of an outside super PAC, Justice Democrats that was a driving force behind her congressional campaign — an arrangement former FEC commissioners say may have violated federal election laws.
The freshman congresswoman…falsely claimed that Right to Rise, a Republican super PAC hit with an FEC fine … was behind the ethics complaints.
“Whoah: the creepy org filing bogus ethics complaints against me just *actually* got hit with one of the biggest fines in FEC history,” Ocasio-Cortez falsely asserted.
Rather than correcting the inaccurate tweet, Ocasio-Cortez posted a second tweet, claiming that former Right to Rise operative Luke Thompson was both the target of the fine and the person filing ethics complaints against her.
Neither of those claims are true. Thompson wasn’t mentioned in the complaint against Right to Rise, and doesn’t work at any of the groups that have filed the ethics complaints against Ocasio-Cortez.
Both tweets are inaccurate.— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) March 12, 2019
A) @ltthompso used to work for Right to Rise; there's no indication he was involved in PAC's wrongdoing
B) Right to Rise didn't file any FEC complaints against @AOC
C) Luke doesn't work for any of the ethics groups filing her complaints against her pic.twitter.com/QgYG9KKbmy
Guys, she’s fighting for things that are morally right, so she can just lie, right? Nice work by DC in shredding this shoddy tweet. I’m sure there will be more in AOCs future on the Hill.
On Triggered, we interviewed Dan Backer, one of the lawyers who filed the complaints. He details the whole saga here: