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Ethics committee expands probe after emails further implicate Rashida Tlaib for misuse of campaign funds

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Earlier this fall the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into anti-Semitic Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib over allegations that she’d misused campaign funds to subsidize her personal lifestyle. Thus far, the results do not look promising for the 43-year-old congresswoman.

On Thursday the committee released its first report on the matter and announced that it’d be expanding the investigation even further.

“Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes,” the report reads.

“If Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

Based on its initial findings, the report continues, the committee has voted unanimously to “further review” these allegations “because there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use or Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

View the full report below:

As evidence, the committee cited financial documents that clearly show the congresswoman received campaign disbursements even after she was elected to office.

The documents specifically show that “Rep. Tlaib was paid $2,000.00 on November 16, 2018 for work performed between November 1, 2018 and November 15, 2018, and was thereafter paid $15,500.00 on December 1, 2018 for work performed (or to be performed) between November 16, 2018 and December 31, 2018.”

Yet the 2018 midterm elections were held on Nov. 6, 2018 …

In total, she collected more than $17,000 after the conclusion of her campaign.

As “exhibit” evidence, the committee also cited internal campaign emails that show the “financially strapped” congresswoman speaking with her campaign officials in 2018 about how she could boost her salary via campaign money.

“In an April 4, 2018 email, Rep. Tlaib first advised her campaign manager, Andy Goddeeris, and her campaign consultant, Steve Tobocman, that she was ‘struggling financially,'” the report reads.

“She went on to state: ‘I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but [campaign staffer] Ryan [Lomonco] said the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of 5K.'”

In the email, which can be viewed below, she also complained that her former husband, Fayez Tlaib, “doesn’t pay child support”:

(Source: Exhibit Evidence)

She reportedly tried to pull a similar stunt later that month.

“On April 27, 2018, Rep Tlaib emailed a larger group of campaign staff about her personal financial concerns. In this communication, she explained that she was “not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend,” and requested ‘$2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000,'” the report continues.

In response to the report’s release, the congressman has issued a lengthy sentence complaining about her life as a “single mother.”

“When I ran for Congress in 2018, I had to leave my job as a civil rights attorney at the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice to focus on campaigning full-time, while continuing to support my two young sons as a single mother,” she said.

She also argued that she’d collected less than she was “entitled to receive” under the regulations maintained by the Federal Election Commission.

“During the campaign, I received the minimum salary payments necessary for me to meet my personal financial obligations, while ensuring that the campaign reserved the resources needed to reach voters. All in all, I was paid less than I was entitled to receive under FEC regulations,” she said.

This still wouldn’t explain her decision to continue collecting money even after the election concluded.

You may review all the “exhibit” evidence below:

In concluding her response, Tlaib spoke of the need for the FEC to “level the playing field” and pursue more equality for those who lack “financial privilege.”

“I look forward to the Ethics Committee’s prompt resolution of this matter in my favor, and I hope my experience will clear more room for people like me to run for office by availing themselves of FEC innovations that level the playing field, like paying a non-incumbent candidate salary or covering childcare expenses with campaign funds, so that financial privilege is not a prerequisite to participate in our democracy,” she said.

Meanwhile, as the Ethics Committee has been investigating the congresswoman for potential campaign finance violations, she’s been busy attacking “Opportunity Zones” for black Americans, leading the impeachment charge against President Donald Trump, meeting with pro-terrorist groups and defending the never-ending terrorism against Israel:

Vivek Saxena

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