FEC Complaint: AOC and Chief of Staff Illegally moved 885K “Off the Books”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her “multimillionaire chief of staff,” Saikat Chakrabarti, are accused of violating campaign laws and illegally funneling nearly $1 million in contributions from political action committees, according to an FEC complaint obtained by Fox News.
Fox reports: The FEC complaint asserts that Chakrabarti established two PACs, the Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC, and then systematically transferred more than $885,000 in contributions received by those PACs to the Brand New Campaign LLC and the Brand New Congress LLC — companies that, unlike PACs, are exempt from reporting all of their significant expenditures. The PACs claimed the payments were for “strategic consulting.”
Although large financial transfers from PACs to LLCs are not necessarily improper, the complaint argues that the goal of the “extensive” scheme was seemingly to illegally dodge detailed legal reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are designed to track campaign expenditures.
“It appears ‘strategic consulting’ was a mischaracterization of a wide range of activities that should have been reported individually,” the complaint states.
In a Daily Caller interview yesterday, former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff could face jail time if the complaint turned out to be true.
“If this were determined to be knowing and willful, they could be facing jail time,” Smith said. “Even if it’s not knowing and willful, it would be a clear civil violation of the act, which would require disgorgement of the contributions and civil penalties. I think they’ve got some real issues here.”
Former Republican FEC commissioner Hans Von Spakovsky told the Daily Caller the two could be in violation of multiple campaign laws.
“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,” he said.
For the full report, click HERE.