Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri is being called out for paying her now-husband over $60,000 for security last year.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust sent a complaint to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday calling for it to investigate whether the “squad” member broke the rule on spending campaign cash for personal use.
Bush and Cortney Merritts were married secretly last month. Their marriage was reported on Sunday. According to Fox News, the two have been together since 2021, prior to Merritts appearing on the campaign payroll.
The complaint noted that Bush spent $571,856 on security in 2022, including $225,281 to a company called PEACE Security and $50,000 to a man named Nathaniel Davis, in addition to the $62,359 she forked over to Merritts.
“It appears Rep. Bush’s campaign may have made payments for services that were unnecessary or above fair market value because of her personal relationship with the payee,” the complaint said. “If so, these payments would qualify as either impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift.”
“Therefore, we request the FEC investigate whether Rep. Bush converted campaign funds for personal use by paying a salary that was not for bona fide services at fair market value. Ultimately, if one or more campaign laws are found to have been broken, we request the FEC hold the respondents accountable,” the complaint concluded.
“Any time a member of Congress puts someone with a close personal relationship on the campaign payroll, increased scrutiny is necessary to ensure the legal standard has been met, which in this case are that the payments were for ‘bona fide services at a fair market value,'” Kendra Arnold, FACT’s executive director, told Fox News.
“Both the fact that reportedly Bush’s husband isn’t licensed to provide security services for which he was paid, and that she was simultaneously paying large amounts to another company for the same services raise red flags that warrant an investigation by the FEC,” Arnold said.
Arnold was referring to the fact that Merritts is not licensed to provide security services in St. Louis, where Bush’s district is located.
A public records request filed Monday with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department found no license for Merritts had been issued in a decade. The “last security license issued to that individual expired in 2012,” an administrator said.
In 2021, Bush was criticized for supporting the “defund the police” movement while spending exorbitant sums on private security.
She said that spending was necessary, according to CBS News.
“I have private security because my body is worth being on this planet right now. I have private security because [of] the white supremacist, racist narrative that they drive into this country,” she said.
“So suck it up and defunding the police has to happen.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.