After a noticeable silence, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finally responded to allegations of campaign finance law violations leveled in an FEC complaint.
The New York Democrat was asked by reporters about a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission by a conservative government watchdog alleging that she and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, funneled nearly $1 million in contributions from political action committees to two of his private companies.
“Do you have any comment on the FEC violation filed against you,” a reporter asked Ocasio-Cortez Tuesday as she arrived at Ronald Reagan National Airport, Fox News reported.
“There is no violation,” the Freshman congresswoman replied.
When she was asked about any connection to “dark money” during her campaign, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “No, no.”
Chakrabarti had defended the actions as “transparent” in a tweet Monday.
The JD and BNC websites had this explainer on it before @ryangrim ever asked us. We were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start. Here’s me talking about it on MSNBC in May, 2016. https://t.co/0fSoOiuWus https://t.co/VFBvBSgi41
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 5, 2019
The complaint, filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, claims Chakrabarti transferred more than $885,000 in contributions received by Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC – which he established – to the Brand New Campaign LLC and the Brand New Congress LLC.
Ocasio-Cortez could face prison if off-the-books funneling of almost $1 million in campaign money is true https://t.co/K9hSPc3TyO pic.twitter.com/mzDDab1Jsf
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 5, 2019
“But no precise accounting for the expenses is available, and the complaint asks the FEC to conduct an investigation into the matter immediately,” Fox News reported.
“It sounds to a lot of people like that’s a way to skirt the campaign finance laws in this country,” former Rep. Jason Chaffetz said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“And the FEC and the other regulators need to get in there and find out where was this money going – was it going to people’s pockets? Was it legitimate or not?” the former Utah Republican said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s control of the PAC while it supported her primary campaign was reportedly never disclosed by the lawmaker, a violation that could land her in jail.
“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The issue has become more ironic in light of Ocasio-Cortez’s rant about dark money and campaign finance laws during a congressional hearing last month.
Just days ago, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that thousands of dollars were laundered through a through a political action committee to her boyfriend, Riley Roberts.
Ocasio-Cortez hit with FEC complaint over alleged ‘scheme’ to launder campaign cash to her boyfriend https://t.co/Zgo4jpC8PE pic.twitter.com/ahxyPbXMZE
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 1, 2019
Roberts was allegedly paid $6,000 by the PAC owned by Chakrabarti.
Twitter users reacted to Ocasio-Cortez’s denial of violating campaign finance laws on Tuesday.
Three months in and already gunning for hillary’s record as most corrupt person in DC. Now that’s moxy!
— Kyle McGrath (@TheGray168) March 5, 2019
I demand a special counsel!
— HR Chesterfield ?? (@HRChesterfield) March 5, 2019
So she will just smile and twirl her hair at the cameras and all will be forgiven….like duh.
— Ethan (@merica_patriot1) March 5, 2019
I thought she hated “dark money” ???
— Karen (@camdy_2cane) March 5, 2019
This may be the quickest descent into corruption yet.
— The Last Voice (@lastvoicespeaks) March 5, 2019
— ⭐️ ?? NavyPhil ?? ⭐️ (@PhillipLaird) March 5, 2019
We must immediately launch a two-year investigation!
— ??Potato Patriot?? (@PotatoPatriot) March 5, 2019
A full and thorough investigation will have to be conducted, Im afraid, maybe a special counsel appointed too. Schiff is going to be all over this because he loves the Constitution.
— ??Night “Bleach Hoaxer” Wood✞⚭⚓ (@Shteina_Gott) March 5, 2019
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