AOC Confirms FEC Probe; Attacks NLPC

In an “exclusive interview,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told New York Daily News reporters Chris Sommerfeldt and Jason Fisher that she and her former Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti are “in conversation” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about a Complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center in March. (Matter Under Review #7575)

Of course, the FEC doesn’t have conversations with Respondents to Complaints. It conducts investigations. By confirming that she and the other Respondents are interacting with the FEC, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the existence of an investigation, contrary to assertions of some of her supporters. From the article:

Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the complaint as a political hit job.

“All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It’s a tactic they use and it’s very common,” she said. “It’s a form of legal trolling.”

The accusation that NLPC is a “Republican” group would come as a … Read More ➡

FEC Investigating Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Ex-Chief of Staff Chakrabarti

From the Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:

Two organizations linked to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her outgoing senior aides are the subject of a Federal Election Commission investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, the Washington Examiner has learned.

The FEC opened an official case on March 7 to examine complaints against Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, two campaign committees started by Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff Shaikat Chakrabarti, according to an FEC confirmation letter disclosed to the Washington Examiner. The matter was assigned a case number and remains open. Ocasio-Cortez also sat on the board of Justice Democrats from December 2017 to June 2018, the Daily Caller reported.

The original FEC complaint was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, and claimed the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PACs were engaged in “an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure … Read More ➡

NY Post: Feds Investigating AOC Campaign Finances

From the New York Post today by Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine:

The Feds are looking into possible campaign finance misdeeds by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rainmaker, who suddenly resigned Friday, federal sources told The Post.

The inquiry centers on two political action committees founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, the top aide who quit along with Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent,the sources said. Trent left to join the congresswoman’s 2020 re-election campaign.

The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.

But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.

Also from the article:

The complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, Read More ➡

Federal Election Commission is Investigating Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s PAC

From the Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:

The Federal Election Commission is examining financial discrepancies at a political action committee that was run by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after an outside watchdog group raised questions about the group’s spending activities.

Justice Democrats PAC, a committee where Ocasio-Cortez served on the board until last summer, said in financial reports that it helped pay off candidate debts that did not appear to exist, according to a May 30 letter from the FEC cited by the Washington Free Beacon.

The FEC asked the PAC to explain the discrepancies, request refunds from the campaigns that allegedly received the payments, and update its financial statements, noting that the commission “may take further legal action regarding this impermissible activity.”

Justice Democrat PAC’s financial report for April 1, 2018, to June 30, 2018, “discloses one or more contributions to federal candidates for the retirement of debts incurred … Read More ➡

Ocasio-Cortez Attacks NLPC; Gets it Wrong— Twice

The following by Alex Griswold appeared in the Washington Free-Beacon:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) sent a false tweet Monday when attempting to correct a tweet that was also false.

A conservative nonprofit recently filed an FEC complaint against Ocasio-Cortez, arguing that the candidate violated campaign laws in her relationship with a PAC and business operated by her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Luke Thompson, vice president of the Republican analytics firm Applecart, was the first to call attention to Chakrabarti’s role as architect of the opaque fundraising scheme.

Left-wing Intercept reporter Jon Schwarz noted in response that Thompson had once worked at Right to Rise, a 2016 pro-Jeb Bush super PAC that was recently fined by the FEC for accepting foreign donations. Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted his tweet and crowed that “the creepy org filing bogus ethics complaints against me just *actually* got hit with one of the biggest fines … Read More ➡

FEC Complaint Filed Against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for ‘Extensive Off-the-Books’ Campaign

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a formal Complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, and several other individuals and groups who orchestrated an extensive operation to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending during the 2018 campaign, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.

The funds were expended in support of ten or more Congressional candidates by a for-profit entity called Brand New Congress LLC, apparently operated by Chakrabarti. The Act requires that all expenditures of $200 or more to be disclosed to the FEC, and their purpose identified. The Complaint alleges that Chakrabarti’s LLC served as a “cutout,” for at least $885,735 received from Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and two federal political action committees, Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC.

The final disposition of the funds is unknown … Read More ➡