‘Squad’ Member Cori Bush Faces DOJ Criminal Probe
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush takes part in a Jewish Shacharit morning prayer service near the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill . Rabbis for Ceasefire held a prayer service to pray for a ceasefire in Gaza.
(Photo by Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a member of the leftist “Squad” and “Defund the Police” advocate, for allegedly misspending funds meant for personal security.

Sources told Punchbowl News that a subpoena for records announced in the House on Monday was connected to a criminal probe into Bush. The inquiry is looking at issues related to her Member Representation Allowance (MRA).

House Sergeant at Arms William McFarland said in a message conveyed by the reading clerk that he consulted with the Office of General Counsel and determined that compliance was “consistent with the rights and privileges of the House.”

Max Cohen, a reporter for Punchbowl News, said in a post to X that he asked Bush “directly” about the investigation on Monday night. “She repeatedly declined to comment and reprimanded me for approaching her as she had a toothache,” the journalist recalled.

Bush released a statement on Tuesday that said she can “confirm” that the DOJ is “reviewing” her campaign’s spending on security services. “We are fully cooperating in this investigation,” she added.

“Since before I was sworn into office, I have endured relentless threats to my physical safety and life,” Bush said. “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. I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security funds.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, declined to comment on the DOJ probe news on Tuesday, saying “that’s something for the Justice Department.”

Bush has represented her St. Louis-area district since 2021 after she toppled Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) in the 2020 primary, and over the years she has faced scrutiny over payments for private security despite her calls to defund the police.

Her campaign has spent more than $750,000 on security services since 2019, according to federal election data. The congresswoman has previously said she was doling out money for protection because of attempts on her life.


Conservative watchdog groups have raised concerns about tens of thousands of campaign dollars in payments to Courtney Merrits, whom Bush married nearly a year ago after hiring him as a security guard, potentially not being for “bona fide services” and at “fair market value.”

Bush said in her statement on Tuesday that the “frivolous” complaints have resulted in a number of ongoing investigations, including by the Federal Election Commission and the House Ethics Committee, and she insisted that her team is cooperating with all of them.

The congresswoman also noted the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) “found no wrongdoing and voted unanimously to dismiss the case” and added that she looks forward to “this same outcome” in all the pending investigations. The OCE Board said in September that it voted to recommend to the House Ethics Committee that the matter be dismissed, according to a letter reported by the New York Post.

“I am under no illusion that these right-wing organizations will stop politicizing and pursuing efforts to attack me and the work that the people of St. Louis sent me to Congress to do: to lead boldly, to legislate change my constituents can feel, and to save lives,” Bush said in her statement on Tuesday.

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