This is a very bad look.
The Department of Justice is currently conducting an investigation into Representative Cori Bush, a member of the Squad from Missouri, regarding the alleged improper use and alleged theft of government funds earmarked for her security, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The investigation revolves around accusations that federal security funds were misappropriated, as indicated by a subpoena announcement made on the House floor on Monday. The House Sergeant at Arms, William McFarland, conveyed the receipt of a grand jury subpoena for documents issued by the Justice Department, affirming the office’s compliance with the subpoena without providing further details.
Amidst speculation on social media about the nature of the DOJ probe, sources later clarified that the focus was on Representative Bush. Notably, Bush has allocated over $500,000 for her private security, despite her public support for the defunding of the police movement.
PunchBowl News initially broke the story about the criminal probe, revealing its connection to the House Sergeant at Arms subpoena. Additionally, it was reported that Bush’s husband and former security guard, Cortney Merritts, received payments exceeding $100,000 after being added to her campaign’s payroll for purported security services, a description later changed to “wage expenses.”
In March 2023, Bush faced two Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaints related to security payments made to her husband. One complaint, filed by the Committee to Defeat the President, alleged violations of campaign finance laws, asserting that payments were made without a license for security functions in the congresswoman’s district. Another complaint, lodged by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), urged the FEC to investigate whether campaign funds were used for personal purposes, citing potential violations involving payments to Merritts.
The FACT complaint raised concerns about the possibility of payments exceeding fair market value due to personal relationships, urging the FEC to scrutinize whether Rep. Bush had converted campaign funds for personal use. The watchdog group emphasized accountability should campaign laws be found to have been breached.