For the second time on Monday, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti are facing bombshell corruption allegations that not only threaten to derail their future in politics but could potentially end up with both of them “facing jail time,” according to a former FEC commissioner.
Daily Caller investigative reporter Andrew Kerr reported on Monday evening that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti “obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, according to archived copies of the group’s website, and the two appear to retain their control of the group, according to corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.”
“If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat’s campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to ‘massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,’ former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said,” Kerr continued. “Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.”
Former FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told the Daily Caller: “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.”
Brad Smith, another former FEC commissioner, told the Daily Caller that if “a complaint were filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation,” and that both Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti “could be facing jail time.”
“At minimum, there’s a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze. I don’t really see any way out of it,” Smith continued. “The admission makes it open and shut if someone wants to file a complaint with the FEC. I don’t see how the FEC could not investigate that. We’ve even got their own statement on their website that they control the organization. I don’t see how you could avoid an investigation on that.”
Read Kerr’s lengthy full report at the Daily Caller here.
Making matters even worse for Ocasio-Cortez, she tweeted multiple times in 2017 that she understood FEC laws:
Earlier on Monday, another complaint filed with the FEC accused Chakrabarti of funneling over $1 million in political donations to his own private companies.
“Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used,” The Washington Examiner reported. “The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.”
Ocasio-Cortez was accused of laundering money to her boyfriend last week in yet another complaint that was filed with the FEC.
Ocasio-Cortez also enacted a “living wage” rule in her office recently, in which no one can make over $80,000 a year, which allows “her chief of staff and senior employees avoid public transparency laws that would require them to reveal outside income, gifts, and stock trading activity.”
Tom Anderson, the director of the National Legal and Policy Center, said: “Purposefully underpaying staffers in order to avoid transparency is an old trick some of the most corrupt members of Congress have used time and again.”