Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky has called for an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide Saikat Chakrabarti.
Since December 2017 Cortez and Chakrabarti have held legal authority over Justice Democrats, the outside PAC credited with orchestrating her primary victory over Rep. Joe Crowley in June 2018, The Daily Caller reported.
Last week a complaint was filed by The conservative National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) alleging that Justice Democrats and another PAC controlled by Chakrabarti, Brand New Congress, funneled $1 million into two private companies under his control during the 2018 midterms.
Hans von Spakovsky, now a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, wrote in a Fox News op-ed Sunday:
“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.”
“There seems to be enough evidence here to justify opening a criminal investigation,” he added.
Ocasio-Cortez did not disclose information
Ocasio-Cortez did not disclose to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti controlled Justice Democrats while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign.
If the FEC finds that the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and the PAC were operating in affiliation, it could result in her campaign receiving excessive contributions, former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF.
“If someone gave Ocasio-Cortez a $2,700 contribution and then gave another contribution to either of the other two PACS that Ocasio-Cortez and/or Chakrabarti were running, her campaign violated federal law by receiving and keeping a contribution above the legal limit,” von Spakovsky explained.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the NLPC’s complaint calling it a “conspiracy theory”
In case you saw the conspiracy theory running around, conservative groups have now taken to spamming us by filing bogus ethics complaints so that Fox News can report on “alleged,” untrue scandals.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2019
This is how the misinformation machine works, folks. https://t.co/Gi5PhIJ7Jo
However, Cortez has not yet responded to her and Chakrabarti’s “legal control over” Justice Democrats starting in December 2017.
According to the PAC’s business filings in Washington D.C., Cortez and Chakrabarti continue to serve as “governors” of Justice Democrats.
As reported by the Daily Caller, “CNN, ABC News, NBC News
Von Spakovsky expects an investigation to be open
Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky said Chakrabarti’s usage of two LLCs under his control to fund “campaign infrastructure and fundraising” services for his PACs and 12 political candidates, including Cortez, runs counter to Ocasio-Cortez’s call for more transparency in the government.
“Is the New York congresswoman – who claims to be an honest and upstanding crusader for good government and transparency – really a hypocrite who improperly hid her own campaign spending in a complex maze of fundraising groups?” von Spakovsky asked.
Von Spakovsky said he is expecting the four active FEC commissioners, two are Republicans, one is a Democrat and one is independent, will vote in favor of opening a full investigation into Ocasio-Cortez “given all the evidence of possible violations of the law that has already been made public.”
“We don’t know what further investigation will find,” he said. “But it is clear an investigation is needed to determine if Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti broke the law.”
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