How long has Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) been in Congress? About two months?
She’s already had multiple complaints filed against her for ethical and/or campaign finance violations.
Here comes the latest, an ethics complaint from the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group to the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding her use of official resources on her social media accounts.
From Free Beacon:
“In the first two weeks of February 2019, Ocasio- Cortez posted numerous videos of official House floor and committee proceedings on her political Twitter and Instagram accounts,” the complaint reads. “Her posts prominently displayed both official House photographs and video footage, on which she commented and instructed viewers to watch the videos.”
“Ironically, in one of the posts she discussed the ethics standards to which she should be held,” it continues. “Additionally, on Ocasio-Cortez’s political Instagram page, she directly links to her official House Instagram account and includes a link for political contributions, alongside the posts of official video footage and her comments on official action. There are numerous ethics rules violated in this case, all of which require separation between official action and resources and political action and fundraising.”
FACT said that she violated the ethical rules repeatedly and they provided a list with their complaint.
“In this case, Representative Ocasio-Cortez posted official photographs and video on her political social media accounts,” the complaint reads. “This is a straightforward violation: House Ethics Rules prohibit Members from using official taxpayer-funded resources like House video for any political purpose. Second, Ocasio-Cortez also used a campaign social media page to link directly to her official social media page. This is also a straightforward violation: House ethics rules prohibit a Member from posting a link to her official social media site on a campaign social media site. Finally, Ocasio-Cortez solicitated campaign donations on a social media page that used official House video footage and linked to an official Member page.”
Kendra Arnold, the executive director said, “These are clear violations and the Ethics Committee needs to act.”
Previously, the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint claiming that a PAC controlled by both Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, siphoned off campaign contributions to private companies that he ran. Both Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti are named in the complaint.
She has also had complaints filed against her for giving her boyfriend a staff email as well as for allegedly using an intermediary PAC to pay money to the boyfriend.
She’s also facing troubling questions about the fact that she was on the board of the Justice Democrats while the PAC was then allegedly giving money to her campaign. While there hasn’t been a complaint filed yet on that matter, that’s the one that’s really problematic and according to former FEC officials, could lead to jail time.
From Daily Caller:
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, according to archived copies of the group’s website, and the two appear to retain their control of the group, according to corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat’s campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to “massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,” former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said.
Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.
“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
And fellow former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF that if “a complaint were filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation.” He also noted that such a probe could potentially result in jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Chakrabarti.
Media has largely ignored or dismissed the complaints against Ocasio-Cortez.