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Today: April 14, 2024

Justice Department investigating Democratic Rep. Cori Bush over alleged misuse of campaign funds

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LA Post: Justice Department investigating Democratic Rep. Cori Bush over alleged misuse of campaign funds
AP
FARNOUSH AMIRI
January 30, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating whether Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri misused campaign funds for her own personal security, the progressive lawmaker confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

Bush, a second-term lawmaker, denied any wrongdoing and said she is “fully cooperating” with federal prosecutors.

“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,” Bush said. “I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services.”

Her statement came a day after the Justice Department subpoenaed the office of the House Sergeant of Arms for related documents. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Since being to the House in 2021, Bush, a Black woman with activist roots, has been the target of right-wing attacks. As a result, she has spent a substantial amount of money on private security while she's on Capitol Hill and back home in her district in St. Louis.

The issue of how Bush has been funding her security is also under investigation by the Federal Election Commission and the House Committee on Ethics. She came under controversy for paying her now-husband Cortney Merritts at least $60,000 with campaign funds in 2022, which triggered an ethics complaint from conservative groups. The Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously determined in October to clear Bush of any wrongdoing.

“I look forward to this same outcome from all pending investigations,” Bush said Tuesday.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries declined to comment further Tuesday, saying that he has yet to read Bush's full statement on the pending investigation.

“At some point, I’m sure we'll have communication about it,” Jeffries told reporters.

Punchbowl News first reported the news about the investigation into Bush.

___

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

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