Cori Bush is another in long line of Democrats who have directed money to their husbands. Allegedly Bush used tax dollars in her Member Representation Allowance (MRA).
A portion of that money was paid to Courtney Merrits, her husband. This is despite the fact he is not licensed in Missouri as a security guard.
Bush, who openly and repeatedly advocates defunding all police departments has spent over $750,000 for security. Much of that money went to her husband, thus giving her a benefit from the spending.
Surprisingly the DOJ is the one carrying out the investigation and they have subpoenaed records and documents from the House.
So why are the Democrats going after one of their own and why now and not six months ago when conservative news outlets broke the story?
I have a theory. Bush is one of the rare Democrats who are still pushing for the defunding of police, which the party has learned is hurting them with the voters.
What I can’t predict is whether they will press the issue before the primary or whether they will wait until after the election to exonerate her. I don’t think they will allow her to win the primary and then be removed from the general election she could flip her seat.
House Sergeant at Arms William McFarland said in a message conveyed by the reading clerk that he consulted with the Office of General Counsel and determined that compliance was “consistent with the rights and privileges of the House.”
Max Cohen, a reporter for Punchbowl News, said in a post to X that he asked Bush “directly” about the investigation on Monday night. “She repeatedly declined to comment and reprimanded me for approaching her as she had a toothache,” the journalist recalled.
Bush released a statement on Tuesday that said she can “confirm” that the DOJ is “reviewing” her campaign’s spending on security services. “We are fully cooperating in this investigation,” she added.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, declined to comment on the DOJ probe news on Tuesday, saying “that’s something for the Justice Department.”
Bush has represented her St. Louis-area district since 2021 after she toppled Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) in the 2020 primary, and over the years she has faced scrutiny over payments for private security despite her calls to defund the police.
“Since before I was sworn into office, I have endured relentless threats to my physical safety and life. As a rank-and-file member of Congress I am not entitled to personal protection by the House, and instead have used campaign funds as permissible to retain security services. I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security funds.”
Her campaign has spent more than $750,000 on security services since 2019, according to federal election data. The congresswoman has previously said she was doling out money for protection because of attempts on her life.
In addition to the federal spending, Cori Bush's congressional campaign committee has also spent over three quarters of a million dollars on security since 2020, far and away the campaign's biggest expense category. https://t.co/GylrJyLvnJ pic.twitter.com/mdyRygRUPK
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) January 30, 2024
Conservative watchdog groups have raised concerns about tens of thousands of campaign dollars in payments to Courtney Merrits, whom Bush married nearly a year ago after hiring him as a security guard, potentially not being for “bona fide services” and at “fair market value.”
Bush said in her statement on Tuesday that the “frivolous” complaints have resulted in a number of ongoing investigations, including by the Federal Election Commission and the House Ethics Committee, and she insisted that her team is cooperating with all of them.