A Republican group has filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint alleging Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) used thousands of dollars from her Congressional campaign money to pay her boyfriend.
The Coolidge-Reagan Foundation accuses the self-proclaimed socialist Democrat of funneling money from her political action committee (PAC), Brand New Congress, to fill the pockets of Riley Roberts – her romantic partner.
Line of deception?
AOC – along with her congressional campaign and the Brand New Congress firm she used to promote her run for Congress – were listed as respondents in the complaint over the allegedly fraudulent handling of campaign funds.
“Brand New Congress – founded by her current chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti – is the firm Ocasio-Cortez hired to run her campaign, and has an affiliated PAC by the same name,” TheBlaze explained.
The covert handling of money was evidently not just a one-time affair.
“The Coolidge-Reagan Foundation points to two $3,000 payments made by Brand New Congress PAC early in the campaign to Riley Roberts – the boyfriend of Ocasio-Cortez – for ‘marketing consultant’ services,” TheBlaze’s Breck Dumas detailed. “Sandwiched between the payments to Roberts, Cortez's campaign committee paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32 for 'strategic consulting.'"
The roundabout way Roberts was paid was cited as crucial evidence pointing to the attempted cover-up.
"[O]ver the span of a little more than a month, Ocasio-Cortez's campaign committee paid just over $6,000 to Brand New Congress PAC, while its affiliated LLC turned around and paid her boyfriend $6,000," the FEC complaint reads. “The complainant respectfully requests the Federal Election Commission commence enforcement proceedings against the respondents.”
Filing the FEC complaint on behalf of the Coolidge-Reagan Foundation, Washington, D.C.-based attorney Dan Backer contends that the deceptive financial maneuvering using campaign money should be explained and made public.
“It’s not illegal for [Ocasio-Cortez] to pay her boyfriend, but it appears that they created some sort of scheme to avoid claiming the money [as a campaign expense],” Backer told Fox News. “What exactly did he do for that money?”
Not happy campers
Luke Thompson – the political consultant who was first to find and publicize records of the shady payments – shared that AOC and her staff denied his allegations and became irate with him when he uncovered their questionable money matters.
“Last Friday … I posted a screen grab of Riley Roberts’s House Microsoft Outlook card – including his official house.gov email address, office phone number and his designation as ‘Staff,’” Thompson wrote in Medium. “The Congresswoman was upset.”
Roberts’ new official modes of contact and inclusion on AOC’s campaign brought up yet another line of questioning and concerns …
“Throwing caution to the wind, she stormed into my mentions, asserting this was just a way to give Mr. Roberts access to her official calendar,” Thompson continued. “Her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, soon followed, reiterating the calendar claim and accusing me of doxxing Mr. Roberts by posting his publicly available LinkedIn profile (which he deleted) and his official government address and the office phone number. Neither AOC nor Chakrabarti said why Roberts needs access to her official calendar.”
The backlash was almost immediate – by virulent AOC, her staff and her supporting socialist Democrats … as well as by one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.
“Regardless, hordes of her howling minions followed,” Thompson pointed out. “I was briefly suspended by Twitter for revealing personal information, only to be released with an apology when I pointed out that everything I posted is government property and public.”
AOC soon took to Twitter to cry victim and innocence.
“The conspiracy machine is in full effect & it’s been disappointing to watch professionals get duped + amplify unvetted Medium posts as truth, treating journalism like it’s a high school LiveJournal rumor mill or something,” the young Democratic representative tweeted last week. “No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend. Come on & VET.”
Realizing that he would not receive any straightforward or honest answers to his questions from Ocasio-Cortez – as demonstrated above – Thompson resorted to having to answer his own …
“Why would Chakrabarti – a founding engineer at Stripe and a wealthy veteran of Silicon Valley – be hiring a no-name ‘UX Experience’ guy with little discernible marketing experience to serve as Brand New Congress PAC’s sole marketing consultant?” Thompson asked in his piece. “The answer seems to be that Chakrabarti was funneling money paid to him by AOC’s campaign back to Roberts and by extension to AOC... If the payments from the PAC to her boyfriend were meant to keep her campaign afloat, they were $1,000 over the legal limit for PAC donations in a calendar year.”