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Cori Bush States DOJ Probing Her Campaign Expenditure on Security

Credits: The Hill

Rep. Cori Bush confirmed Tuesday that the Justice Department was investigating her campaign spending on security services, stemming from payments to a former security guard she married last year.

“We are fully cooperating in this investigation,” she said.

Bush spent $129,660.22 in 2023 on private security, not including the last quarter report of the year that hasn’t been filed yet, according to a POLITICO analysis of her campaign reports.

The Missouri Democrat’s office has said Bush’s relationship with her husband had predated her congressional tenure. Her campaign paid him $42,500 in the first three quarters of last year for “wage expense” and “security services.”

“In particular, the nature of these allegations have been around my husband’s role in the campaign,” she said. “In accordance with all applicable rules, I retained my husband as part of my security team to provide security services because he has had extensive experience in this area and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate.”

Cori Bush States DOJ Probing Her Campaign Expenditure on Security

Cori Bush under investigation (Credits: Rolling Stone)

While House lawmakers are prohibited from using campaign funds for personal use, the rules are different around security. They can use that campaign money for private security and even pay family members if they provide a “bona fide service” at a fair market value.

House members can also use official funds for security equipment, though anti-nepotism rules prohibit them from hiring spouses or family members on their official staff.

She’s previously defended the spending as necessary to protect against threats as a high-profile member of the progressive “squad.” Threats against members of Congress have soared in recent years in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, with lawmakers particularly concerned about dangers outside of the Capitol campus.

In a statement, Christie Stephenson, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, acknowledged Bush’s cooperation with the investigation.

“Like any other American, she is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Stephenson said. “We expect the investigation to follow the facts, apply the law, and be conducted professionally.”

The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment: “We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations.”

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