- A conservative group filed a 21-count Federal Election Commission complaint Wednesday against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alleging that her unreported arrangement with the Justice Democrats PAC violated campaign finance laws.
- The Daily Caller News Foundation first reported that Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff held legal control over the political action committee at the same time it was supporting her campaign.
- The Coolidge Reagan Foundation’s FEC complaint is the third filed against Ocasio-Cortez in the past five weeks.
A conservative group filed a 21-count Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wednesday alleging that her unreported affiliation with Justice Democrats PAC during her 2018 primary campaign violated campaign finance laws.
The New York Democrat and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, held legal control over Justice Democrats at the same time the political action committee was playing a key role in supporting her campaign, The Daily Caller News Foundation revealed in March.
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti “engaged in a brazen scheme involving multiple political and commercial entities under their control to violate federal election law, circumvent federal contribution limits and reporting requirements, and execute an unlawful subsidy scheme,” the Coolidge Reagan Foundation’s complaint states.
The FEC complaint, first reported by Fox News, also alleges that Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign benefited from a “subsidy scheme” carried out by Justice Democrats. The complaint is the third filed against Ocasio-Cortez in the past five weeks.
Coolidge Reagan Foundation President Dan Backer said he will sue the FEC for delay if the commission fails to act on his complaint within 120 days. Backer added that such an action could give him the opportunity to take the complaint to court, which he said would “force Ocasio-Cortez and these parties to intervene in defense of their actions.”
The complaint cites TheDCNF’s report in its complaint and alleges that Ocasio-Cortez, her campaign and Justice Democrats violated the law by failing to report their affiliation to the FEC.
“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,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky previously told TheDCNF.
Justice Democrats stated on its website from December 2017 until two weeks after Ocasio-Cortez’s June 2018 primary victory that she and Chakrabarti held “legal control over” the PAC, and corporate filings obtained by TheDCNF show that the two served on its three-member board during her primary campaign.
Former Justice Democrats staffer Max Berger tweeted after Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley that the PAC decided in 2017 to go “all-in” on supporting her campaign. The tweet was deleted sometime after it was included in a DCNF story.
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