Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO), a junior member of the left-wing ‘Squad,’ has found herself in serious legal trouble, and is now the subject of investigation by at least three federal authorities as of Monday.
After reports emerged Tuesday that Bush is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice per The Western Journal, reports from Axios revealed that she is also facing heavy scrutiny from both the Federal Election Commission and the Republican-led House Ethics Committee over the same serious issue.
Allegations have emerged that not only did Bush spend a significant sum of campaign funds on her personal security, despite campaigning on defunding law enforcement; Bush is also being investigated for employing her own husband as part of her personal security team, paying him at least $60,000 per year.
Punchbowl News reported Monday that sources familiar with the investigation confirmed Bush was subject to a subpoena for records focused on issues relative to her Member Representation Allowance (MRA).
🚨BREAKING NEWS — THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is conducting a criminal probe into @CoriBush, according to six sources familiar with the investigation.
The Justice Department subpoenaed the House Sergeant at Arms for records relating to the misspending of federal security money.…
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 30, 2024
Max Cohen reporting for the outlet posted to X that he asked Bush about the investigation Monday night and was “reprimanded,” by the Democrat. He wrote, “She repeatedly declined to comment and reprimanded me for approaching her as she had a toothache.”
I asked Cori Bush about the investigation directly last night. She repeatedly declined to comment and reprimanded me for approaching her as she had a toothache. https://t.co/Vskods0WYE
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) January 30, 2024
In a statement, Bush told reporters, “First and foremost, I hold myself, my campaign, and my position to the highest level of integrity. I also believe in transparency which is why I can confirm that the Department of Justice is reviewing my campaign’s spending on security services.”
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed a complaint against Bush in March 2023 alleging that she “used campaign funds for personal use,” by paying Cortney Merritts, whom she would later marry, including $60,000 for personal security in 2022.
“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 the complaint according to National Review. “If so, these payments would qualify as either impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Bush claimed, “As a rank-and-file member of Congress I am not entitled to personal protection by the House, and instead have used campaign funds as permissible to retain security services. I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services.”
She added, “In recent months, right-wing organizations have lodged baseless complaints against me, peddling notions that I have misused campaign funds to pay for personal security services. That is simply not true. I have complied with all applicable laws and House rules — and will continue to prioritize the rules that govern us as federal elected officials.”
However, Bush did acknowledge the allegations that she hired her husband as a security guard. She told the press, “In accordance with all applicable rules, I retained my husband as part of my security team to provide security services because he has had extensive experience in this area, and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate.”