Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is once again burning up the internet and prime time news.
This time it isn’t promoting some hair-brained Socialist scheme, or getting into a war of words with moderate Democrats, but rather something more severe — which might actually send someone to jail (perhaps even herself) if the charges are true.
On Monday the Federal Election Commission filed an official complaint alleging the Bronx congresswoman along with her Chief of Staff intentionally attempted to hide nearly 1-million dollars in campaign donations within two private companies.
According to the Washington Examiner Saikat Chakrabarti allegedly used two PACs (Political Action Committees) he founded to funnel campaign funds away from public declaration as required by law, into two private accounts creating an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of how the money was being spent.
The NPLC complaint takes aim at possible contributions from the PAC which exceeded the $5,000 FEC limit, and requests an FEC investigation into the two PACs.
“These are not minor or technical violations. We are talking about real money here. In all my years of studying FEC reports, I’ve never seen a more ambitious operation to circumvent reporting requirements,” said Tom Anderson, director of NLPC’s Government Integrity Project.
Anderson continued, “Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been quite vocal in condemning so-called dark money, but her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure.”
The alleged scheme according to NLPC, involved moving campaign dollars through two private companies set up by Chakrabarti dubbed “Brand New Congress LLC” along with “Justice Democrats LCC.” The funds were then allegedly used in support of approximately 10-candidates running for office.
“The Complaint alleges that Chakrabarti’s LLC served as a “cutout,” for at least $885,735 received from Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and two federal political action committees, Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC,” the NLPC stated.
NPLC said in a post to its website, “The final disposition of the funds is unknown because whatever expenditures were made were never reported to the FEC. It appears, however, that they underwrote a score of campaign-related events and activities for Ocasio-Cortez and other Congressional candidates.”
The Examiner and Washington Times reported total funds funneled through Chakrabarti’s two private companies ran in excess of $1 million.
According to former FEC commissioner Brad Smith if “a complaint was filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation.”
He elaborated further, that if it were proven that AOC and Chakrabarti knowingly and willfully withheld their ties between the campaign and the political action committee from the FEC to bypass campaign contribution limits, they could indeed face prison time
“At minimum, there’s a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and Chakrabarti are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze,” Smith said. The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I don’t really see any way out of it.
Former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky also weighed in.
“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.” Stay tuned!