Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Center of FEC Probe

  • 06/07/2019 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Center of FEC Probe
Senate Democrats [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Socialist New York City Congresswoman and garbage disposal critic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may need a criminal defense attorney after the Federal Election Commission announced it was investigating shady financial dealings by a political action committee she helped run.

“The FEC sent a request for additional information to the Justice Democrats PAC, a far-left group that helped elect Ocasio-Cortez to Congress, on May 30 after conducting its preliminary review of the PAC's amended July quarterly report from 2018. Ocasio-Cortez was listed as a governor of the group until recently,” The Washington Free Beacon reports.

“The FEC states that the amended report from Justice Democrats disclosed one or more contributions to federal candidates for the ‘retirement of debts incurred during the 2018 Primary election campaign’ and that the committees that received the payments themselves had ‘insufficient debts to warrant such a contribution’ from the PAC,” the Free Beacon reports

It would appear to be an attempt to send excessive campaign contributions, over the legal limit, by describing them as “debt retirement.”

Despite being elected just seven months ago, this isn’t Ocasio-Cortez’s only campaign finance investigation.

Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti, now her chief of staff, were both listed as governors of the group until they were removed as questions began to mount over possibly illegal activity.

Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti are at the center of a complex scheme in which Chakrabarti ran a series of political action committees and a for-profit LLC that often swapped cash between the PACs, the LLC and candidates.

“At this time, the PAC was facing increased scrutiny over nearly $1 million worth of transfers to limited liability companies started by Chakrabarti, as detailed in a complaint filed to the FEC by the National Legal and Policy Center, which referred to the PAC as a ‘slush fund,’” the Free Beacon reports.

Another PAC run by Chakarabarti’s paid Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend, Riley Roberts, for “marketing services” in 2017 after receiving cash from Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign.

“Public records show Brand New Congress PAC paid $3,000 to Roberts on August 8. Nineteen days later, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign paid $6,191.32 to Brand New Congress LLC. On September 29, the PAC paid Roberts another $3,000,” Newspunch reports.

“The FEC has yet to indicate if it is pursuing an investigation of the NLPC complaint. But the Justice Democrats PAC’s payments to Chakrabarti’s company, which were described as consulting fees to help build infrastructure for Democratic campaigns, raised eyebrows with campaign finance experts,” the Washington Examiner reports.

"None of that makes any sense," said Adav Noti, senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC lawyer, tells the Examiner. "I can't even begin to disentangle that. They're either confused or they're trying to conceal something."

The FEC has recently stepped up criminal prosecutions of candidates and office holders who uses PACs and committees to conceal illegal campaign contributions, targeting everyone from Republican members of Congress to the former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
 Source: AAN
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