January 31, 2024

Squad Member Cori Bush Under Investigation Over Misuse of Funding

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a criminal investigation into Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) over alleged misuse of private security funds, a matter previously examined by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

Reports from Punchbowl News reveal that the DOJ issued a subpoena to the House Sergeant at Arms for records pertaining to Bush's alleged misappropriation of taxpayer funds designated for personal security.

Although the notice to the House chamber did not explicitly name the subject of the investigation, Bush has faced scrutiny before for her spending on private security.

The FEC previously investigated Bush for the misuse of campaign funds allocated for private security. Notably, her campaign hired her now-husband, Cortney Merritts, in January 2022 for private security services when he did not possess the required license for such work within the city of St. Louis, encompassing Bush's congressional district.

Merritts obtained his private security license in February 2023, the same month the couple got married, and continued to receive campaign funds for security services.

While Bush has spent over half a million dollars from her campaign funds on private security, these payments originated from her campaign account and not from taxpayer funds allocated to her congressional office.

During a recent interaction with a Punchbowl reporter, Bush criticized questions about the investigation due to a toothache.

The congresswoman has faced heightened scrutiny for her private security payments, particularly given her prominent role in advocating for the "Defund the Police" movement.

In response to critics, she asserted the need for defunding the police and dismissed concerns about her private security expenditures.

The ongoing investigation adds to the complexities surrounding Bush, who first entered the House in 2020 after defeating a 10-term incumbent Democrat.

Her reelection kickoff event in St. Louis featured her calling herself an "underdog," emphasizing her status in the political landscape, though her latest investigation could change everything concerning her campaign.

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