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Rep Cori Bush confirms she is under investigation for hiring husband with campaign money

Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri confirmed on Tuesday that she was the subject of multiple investigations into her use of campaign funds for the hiring of her husband to provide private security, and brushed off the probes as baseless.

In a lengthy statement that was released shortly after Punchbowl News broke the story, Ms Bush confirmed that the Department of Justice, House Ethics Committee and Federal Election Commission were all probing her use of campaign donations and her hiring of her husband to provide security. She also noted that the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body that refers cases to the House Ethics Committee for investigation, had already conducted an investigation and cleared her of wrongdoing.

Cori Bush speaks in a 2021 interview (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Cori Bush speaks in a 2021 interview (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“In recent months, right-wing organizations have lodged baseless complaints against me, peddling notions that I have misused campaigns funds to pay for personal security services. That is simply not true,” said the congresswoman. “I have complied with all applicable laws and House rules – and will continue to prioritize the rules that govern us as federal elected officials.”

Her full statement went on to say that she “look[s] forward” to being cleared by the above authorities.

A short time after issuing a written statement, Ms Bush spoke with reporters on the Capitol steps and delivered the same statement. She did not take further questions.

The Missouri Democratic congresswoman’s use of private security had previously been reported in various conservative news outlets including the right-wing New York Post. She is a second-term member of the House of Representatives, having first taken office in 2021. Formerly, she was an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained national prominence in her backyard after the 2014 killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis.

During her time as a member of the House, she has become known for her progressive stances and alignment with “The Squad”, a grouping of some of the lower chamber’s youngest and most left-leaning members.

Like other members of the “Squad”, she has been targeted for criticism by conservative groups for her stance on the brutal Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip; some have even faced efforts by those groups to pour money into long-shot primary challenges against the incumbent legislators. Ms Bush, who has called the Israeli military’s efforts an “ethnic cleansing campaign”, is currently facing a primary challenge from Wesley Bell, a local prosecutor who has taken a sharply pro-Israel stance.