The DOJ Is Investigating Cori Bush’s Use of Campaign Funds

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The Justice Department is investigating Missouri representative Cori Bush’s handling of campaign funds, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, part of the DOJ inquiry involves Bush hiring her then-boyfriend (now husband) to provide her with security.

Last year, Bush was investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics for hiring her partner, Cortney Merritts, to handle security. That investigation stemmed from a complaint filed to the Federal Election Commission by the conservative group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. In the complaint, it claimed that Bush had spent $571,856 for security during her 2022 campaign. Of that, it said, $60,000 went to Merritts, who did not have a St. Louis private-security license and was not in the government database of D.C.-area licensed security professionals. The Office of Congressional Ethics ultimately found that Merritts had provided “bona fide” security work and was not overpaid. The scope of the DOJ’s investigation is unclear, but the Times reports that federal prosecutors were asking “questions similar to those asked by the congressional investigators” and that members of Bush’s staff have been subpoenaed.

In her 2022 Cut cover story, Bush spoke about the death threats she and her family received during her first term in 2021, which led her to spend thousands on private security.  “I want to stay alive to be able to take care of my kids and to continue to do this work,” she said. “I want my children and my family to be safe.”

The DOJ Is Investigating Cori Bush’s Use of Campaign Funds