‘Squad’ member Cori Bush under criminal investigation by the DOJ: report

After issuing a grand jury subpoena to Congress, the Justice Department investigation was said to be a “criminal probe” of Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D).

Early Tuesday, news broke that the House Sergeant at Arms had received a subpoena seeking documents pertaining to the alleged misuse of government funds by a legislator. While the behavior of certain elected officials prompted speculation over who the subpoena pertained to, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman confirmed through multiple sources that the BLM-activist turned Squad member was the focus of the investigation.

“BREAKING NEWS — THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is conducting a criminal probe into @CoriBush, according to six sources familiar with the investigation,” wrote Sherman on X. “The Justice Department subpoenaed the House Sergeant at Arms for records relating to the misspending of federal security money.”

As had been reported, House Reading Clerk Susan Cole had read in a letter from House Sergeant at Arms William P. McFarland stating, “The Honorable, the Speaker, the House of Representatives. Sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the House of Representatives that the Office of the Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives has been served with a grand jury subpoena for documents issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

“After consulting with the Office of General Counsel,” continued the reading from Cole, “I have determined that compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the rights and privileges of the House.”

While specifics of the criminal probe had yet to be revealed, since first being elected in 2020 the radical socialist congresswoman had been hit with multiple Federal Election Commission complaints with a specific focus on payments made to her now-husband Cortney Merritts and his private security business.

Bush and Merritts had reportedly begun their relationship in Aug. 2020, prior to her being elected, and had been wed in a secret ceremony in Feb. 2023.

FEC filings documented that the politician who favored defunding the police had paid $225,881 to St. Louis-based Private Executive Auxiliary Civil Enforcement (PEACE) Security in 2022 as well as over $62,000 to Merritts. Overall, since she was elected, security remained Bush’s largest expenditure exceeding three-quarters of a million dollars.

“Any time a member of Congress puts someone with a close personal relationship on the campaign payroll, increased scrutiny is necessary to ensure the legal standard has been met, which, in this case, are that the payments were for ‘bona fide services at a fair market value,'” Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) executive director Kendra Arnold had told Fox News Digital.

Merritts, Arnold had pointed out, wasn’t “licensed to provide security services for which he was paid,” and her group would go on to file another ethics complaint in 2023 after Bush alleged misused congressional resources by taking video from an official House proceeding to use in a campaign video.

“The legal violation in this case is obvious and there are no facts that can excuse it–Bush used official House proceedings and resources for political purposes,” the complaint stated referencing the lawmaker’s use of a clip pulled from CSPAN where she could be heard yelling on the floor of the House, “Your bills are racist!”

“Video of official house floor proceedings is an official resources, and both using it for political purposes and posting it on a campaign social media account are violations of the ethics rules,” read the FACT complaint that went on to contend, “It is irrelevant that Bush obtained this video from CSPAN because a Member cannot use official footage even if it is obtained or reposted from another entity.”

At the time of this post, the congresswoman had not issued a statement regarding the probe, but she had previously pushed back on criticism of her security expenditures in an interview with CBS News where she had said, “They would rather I die? You would rather me die? Is that what you want me to see? You want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative. So either I spend $70,000 on private security over the last few months, and I’m here standing now and able to speak, able to help save 11 million people from being evicted. Or I could possibly have a death attempt on my life.”

Kevin Haggerty

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