(USNewsBreak.com) – Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) drew the spotlight among Conservatives for beefing up her own security despite supporting calls to defund the police. Now, officials are investigating her security spending.
On Tuesday, January 30, Punchbowl News broke the story that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Bush. The probe centers on the amount she has spent on security and, more specifically, to whom she paid the money. The lawmaker reportedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to security provider Cortney Merritts, whom she married in 2023. Her campaign paid Merritts $60,000 in 2022. In the first three quarters of 2023, he received $42,500 (Bush hasn’t filed fourth-quarter figures yet).
The Justice Department is investigating Democratic Rep. Cori Bush over the potential misuse of funds meant for her personal security, according to two sources familiar with the matter. https://t.co/hQZ8IgJb6y
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 30, 2024
Bush maintained that the cost was a reasonable fee to pay for wage expense and security services, saying that despite his lack of private security license, her husband “has had extensive experience in this area and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate,” per CBS News. Last year, the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended the dismissal of the allegations because Merritts didn’t receive excessive compensation, and the threats surrounding Bush warranted the security in the first place. She isn’t entitled to federal personal protection, so she must pay for her own protection out of pocket. The Federal Election Commission warrants using campaign funds for security as long as they are “bona fide.”
In a statement the same day, Bush said she “believe[d] in transparency” and confirmed she was under investigation by the DOJ. Some have called Bush out for beefing up her security while pushing an agenda that focuses on police reforms. She has shot back, asking whether she should die because of her stance.
The House Ethics Committee is also reportedly looking into the matter.
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