April 22, 2024

DOJ Investigating House Democrat for Misusing Government Funds Intended for Private Security

The Department of Justice has subpoenaed a House Democrat for allegedly misusing government funds intended for security.

The allegations became public Monday and were first reported by Punchbowl News.

🚨BREAKING NEWS — @TheJusticeDept is investigating a House Democrat for allegedly misusing government money meant for personal security.

This was the subpoena read out on the House floor today.

MUCH MORE in @PunchbowlNews PM

(Punchbowl News text alert out to subscribers…

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 29, 2024

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the House clerk read a message from the office of the Sergeant at Arms formally notifying the House chamber that the office had been served with a grand jury subpoena by the DOJ.

“This is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the House of Representatives that the office of the sergeant at arms for the House of Representatives has been served with a grand jury subpoena for documents issued by the U.S. Department of Justice” pic.twitter.com/Qct7SsGuRi

— Acyn (@Acyn) January 29, 2024

According to the official House website:

The Sergeant at Arms is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House of Representatives and is responsible for maintaining order in the House side of the United States Capitol complex. The Sergeant at Arms reviews and implements all issues relating to the safety and security of Members of Congress and the Capitol complex. The Sergeant at Arms also coordinates extensively with the U.S. Capitol Police and various intelligence agencies to assess threats against Members of Congress and the Capitol complex.

Reports do not name which House Democrat is involved with the investigation. However, one House Democrat was previously investigated by the Federal Elections Commission for misusing campaign funds for private security.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) continued to pay now-husband Cortney Merritts for private security after their marriage.

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., speaks during an interview Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Northwoods, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) speaks during an interview on November 12, 2021, in Northwoods, Missouri (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

In January 2022 when he was hired by Bush’s campaign, Merritts did not possess a private security license necessary to hold a private security job in St. Louis, where the entirety of Bush’s congressional district is housed. He did not receive his license until February 2023, the month the couple wed.

Private security payments from Bush’s campaign to Merritts total tens of thousands of dollars.

Bush has spent well over half a million dollars out of her campaign funds for private security. However, those payments came from Bush’s campaign account, not taxpayer funds.

Bush has received additional scrutiny for the private security payments due to her leadership of the “Defund the Police” movement. She has dismissed those criticisms in harsh terms.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) is detained by U.S. Capitol Police Officers after participating in a sit-in with activists from Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPDA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on July 19, 2022, in Washington, DC. The CPDA held the protest with House Democrats in support of abortion rights. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen,” Bush said to her detractors.

Bush is not the only member of the “Squad” to come under scrutiny for placing a significant other on the payroll. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is alleged to have paid her now-husband’s political consulting firm out of funds from her Political Action Committee.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

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