A watchdog has demanded that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigate the $62,000 that Rep. Cori Bush paid her current husband as a security guard from her campaign account.
The nonpartisan Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) asked FEC Acting General Counsel Lisa Stevenson to investigate whether Squad member and BLM activist Bush “used campaign funds for personal use.”
It was recently revealed that Bush, R-Mo., married Cortney Merritts in a private ceremony last month. Last year, he was on her re-election campaign payroll.
It appears that Rep. Bush made payments for services that were unnecessary or above market value because of her personal relationship with the beneficiary,” FACT director Kendra Arnold said in the complaint.
If so, these payments are either impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift.
While hiring relatives is frowned upon, it is not illegal. It would only be illegal for push to pay her current husband more than “fair market value.” Payments to family members must be for “bona fide services” related to their official duties.
A watchdog has demanded that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigate the $62,000 that Rep. Cori Bush paid her current husband as a security guard from her campaign account
It was recently revealed that Bush, R-Mo., married Cortney Merritts in a private ceremony last month
“That’s why we’re asking the FEC to investigate whether Rep. Bush converted campaign funds for personal use by paying a salary that was not for bona fide service at a fair market value,” FACT wrote. ‘
If it is ultimately determined that one or more campaign laws have been violated, we request that the FEC hold the respondents accountable.”
Merritts was paid to be Bush’s guard despite not having a license — which is required by the St. Louis Police Department, according to a Fox News report. Merritts also reportedly did not have a security license in Washington, DC
Bush, 46, is back in the spotlight after being discredited in 2021 for spending $500,000 on private security despite her impassioned pleas to “defund the police.”
“I’m going to make sure I have security because I know there have been attempts on my life and I have too much work to do,” the former Black Lives Matter activist told CBS News in August 2021. Spending $200,000, if I spend another $10 on it, you know what? I can be here to do the work.’
“So, suck it up,” she added, “blaming the police has got to be done. We need to bail out the police and put that money into social safety nets because we’re trying to save lives.’
Last year, Merritts was on her re-election campaign payroll
Cori Bush + Cortney Merritts together at the 2020 Inauguration
Two St. Louis officers were subsequently fired for blackmailing her security team without permission from their superiors.
The Bush campaign paid Merritts 24 biweekly installments of $2,500 for security services in 2022. It paid another $250,000 to PEACE Security, a St. Louis-based company, and $50,000 to one Nathaniel Davis, according to FEC records.
“Any time a member of Congress puts someone with a close personal relationship on the campaign payroll, more scrutiny is needed to make sure the legal standard is being met, which in this case is that the payments were for” bona fide services in a fair market’. value,” Arnold said in a statement.
“Both the fact that Bush’s husband is reportedly not licensed to provide security services for which he was paid, and that she was simultaneously paying large sums to another company for the same services, raises red flags warranting an investigation by the FEC.” , she said. added.
Bush isn’t the first ‘Squad’ member to hire her husband — Representative Ilhan Omar funneled $2.9 million to a consulting firm run by her husband in 2021, representing 80 percent of the company’s revenue .