Rep. Cori Bush Reacts to Federal Probe on Illegal Fund Usage

( – Far-left radical progressive Democratic Representative Cori Bush may have found herself in hot water for using federal funds to pay her husband for security services. Conservative watchdog groups have filed ethics complaints against Bush at least twice over the matter, but now the Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened its own investigation. As the House went into session on January 29, the clerk informed members that the DOJ had delivered a grand jury subpoena to the sergeant at arms. The clerk said that documents were requested but did not reveal who was under investigation.

On January 30, Punchbowl News reported that Bush was the focus of the investigation. She released a statement on the same day, placing the blame on Republicans for her troubles and denying any wrongdoing. In March 2023, the House Ethics Committee began investigating Bush after the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) accusing Bush of misusing campaign funds. In her statement, Bush claimed that the Office of Congressional Ethics had unanimously dismissed the complaint. However, the House Ethics Committee is still investigating the matter.

FACT said that Bush paid her then-fiancé, Cortney Merritts, $60,000 for security services in 2022. She also paid another $225,281 to a St. Louis security company in the same year. Since she began paying Merritts, he has received $100,000 from her campaign. Bush has been outspoken about her push to defund the police but has also argued that she deserved personal protection. During a 2021 interview with CBS, Bush responded to a question about those calling her hypocritical for hiring security, asking, “They would rather I die? You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see?” She went on to claim that she had received death threats because of conservatives talking about her. Other progressive Democratic members of Congress have come under scrutiny for hiring their spouses for services, including New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

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