Justice Department investigating Cori Bush for ‘misuse of campaign funds’
By TOI Desk Report January 31, 2024 Update on : January 31, 2024
The US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into Democratic House member Cori Bush for allegedly using campaign money improperly on security services.
The Missouri congresswoman confirmed it in a statement Tuesday, reports BBC.
Denying any wrongdoing, Bush, 47, said they are fully collaborating in this investigation.
Although the scope of the allegations was not immediately known, the Missouri lawmaker has been criticized for hiring her husband, Cortney Merritts, as part of her security detail.
According to federal law, any lawmaker will not be able to pay family members to work in their offices, unless they give “bona fide” services to the campaign.
Meanwhile, the Office of Congressional Ethics has dismissed a complaint filed against Bush last fall after concluding that her husband had performed bona fide security work and was not overpaid.
Bush, who has served as a member of the US House of Representatives since 2021, said in a statement on Tuesday that as a rank-and-file member of Congress, the House does not entitle her to personal protection.
She, however, said she has spent campaign funds “as permissible” on security services, adding that she has not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services.
Any reporting over using federal funds for personal security is simply false, she said.
Bush said the House’s ethics committee and the Federal Election Commission are also investigating her spending.
According to public records, Bush paid her husband $60,000 out of a total $572,000 spent on security in 2022.
During her time in Congress, Bush gained recognition as a member of The Squad which includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar.
Ms Bush made headlines in 2021 when she campaigned overnight on the steps of the US Capitol to protest against the end of a Covid-related moratorium on rental evictions.