FEC Commissioner: Enough Evidence For Serious Criminal Investigation Into Ocasio-Cortez
Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky has read the complaint filed against Ocasio-Cortez and says there is PLENTY of reason to open a criminal investigation.
“There seems to be enough evidence here to justify opening a criminal investigation,” Spakovsky wrote in a Fox News op-ed Sunday.
The FEC is looking into campaign finance violations by the freshman Democratic New York Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide, Saikat Chakrabarti.
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti apparently violated campaign finance law by funneling nearly $1 million in contributions from PACs they controlled to private companies that he also controlled, according to the complaint.
They could be facing major fines as well as jail time if they were knowingly and willfully violated campaign law by hiding their control of the Justice Democrats political action committee.
Commissioner Spakovsky had previously stated before he read the complaint that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law and could face jail time
The complaint states that Chakrabarti established two PACs: the Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC
They systematically transferred more than $885,000 in contributions received by those PACs to the LLCs- which are exempt from reporting all of their significant expenditures. The PACs claimed the payments were for “strategic consulting.”
Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti have both controlled the Justice Democrats PAC credited with being the central force behind her June 2018 primary victory. There are strict laws against collusion between a PAC and the candidate and campaign.
Everyone knows that there is supposed to be a SERIOUS wall between a PAC and a campaign and candidate. Not an inch of collusion is allowed.
“As a former FEC commissioner who has studied the complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, I have concluded that there is unquestionably more than enough evidence to justify the FEC opening a civil investigation,” stated Spakovsky.
“There seems to be enough evidence here to justify opening a criminal investigation,” Spakovsky added.
“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,” Spakovsky had previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Election attorney Charlie Spies seems to agree.
“It looks like the campaign and PAC are under common control and the PAC was funding campaign staff and activities as an alter-ego of the campaign committee, which would be a blatant abuse of the PAC rules.”
If the FEC is able to determine that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti knowingly and purposefully hid their ties between the campaign and the PAC from the FEC to bypass campaign contribution limits, they could both face prison time.
The Justice Democrats PAC was controlled by Ocasio-Cortez, Chakrabarti, and another who held “legal control” of the PAC. They both still serve on the three-member board of Justice Democrats on paper.
This gets more interesting by the day. Ocasio Cortez is balancing three ethics complaints, as well as this FEC investigation in just 2 months in office: Two for allegedly misusing congressional resources, and one alleging her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, set up a million-dollar private slush fund.
Get the popcorn!