Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, is back in legal difficulty — again.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation, a conservative organization, lodged a complaint against Ocasio-Cortez, accusing her of using campaign donations to reimburse herself for thousands of dollars in expenses that were allegedly never properly disclosed.
According to the Daily Caller, the complaint alleges that $9,600 in reported credit card expenses were used for her re-election campaign.
The complaint asserts:
This Complaint arises from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s repeated, blatant violations of federal campaign finance law to conceal how she spent thousands of dollars of campaign funds. On numerous occasions throughout 2022, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s authorized candidate committee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress (‘AOC for Congress’), reported tens of thousands of dollars of disbursements for card payments and card payment reimbursements to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez herself; American Express; and an entity called ‘Veyond!,’ which appears to have provided virtual reality services and apparently no longer operates under that name.
In each case, the reports do not fully disclose the purposes of each payment for which the charge card was used; the sum of the specific Memo Item entries is consistently hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than the total amount paid to the recipient. Although campaigns are permitted to use charge cards (or reimburse candidates for use of their personal charge cards) for otherwise permissible campaign-related expense, their disclosure reports must accurately identify both the recipient of those funds, as well as each of the campaign-related goods and services those charge cards were used to purchase.
A two-year federal investigation concluded earlier this month that Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign did not “properly” disclose some of its expenses, but the Federal Election Commission voted to absolve her.
The FEC determined that two political action committees, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, “did not properly disclose the purpose of the disbursements” to other shell companies set up by Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff Chaikat Sakrabarti during her 2018 congressional campaign.
The six-member commission of the FEC voted 4-2 to dismiss a government watchdog’s complaint against the AOC, despite the findings that the AOC had violated several rules and laws.
“The National Legal and Policy Center, which sent its 36-page complaint to the FEC in March, 2019, filed a lawsuit against the federal agency in Washington DC federal court, blasting the investigations panel — made up of three Democrats and three Republicans — for not providing a reason for its dismissal of the complaint. Three Democrats and one Republican voted to dismiss the complaint, filings show,” the New York Post reported.
“The NLPC complaint alleged that AOC campaign treasurer Frank Llewellyn and Sakrabarti, among others, funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two companies controlled by Sakrabarti. Those cash transfers from two political action committees to Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats may have violated the $5,000 contribution limit to federal candidates, the original complaint alleged,” the Post added.
“The FEC has gone after a whole host of people whose violations are dwarfed by the scale of this scheme,” said Paul Kamenar, NLPC counsel. “It appears to be not prosecutorial discretion, but prosecutorial favoritism.”
“It was highly irregular for the FEC to release its statement of reasons after the deadline for us to file suit,” said Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project, adding that the group did not wait for the agency’s findings before filing its legal challenge.
That is not the only legal problem AOC faces.
The House Office of Congressional Ethics has determined that there is “substantial reason to believe” that Ocasio-Cortez may have violated federal law when she accepted “impermissible gifts” related to her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021.
More on this story via
Ocasio-Cortez went viral at the time when she attended the star-studded event wearing a dress that had the words “Tax the Rich” across the back of it. CONTINUE READING…