St. Louis, Missouri — Congresswoman Cori Bush, a member of the progressive Democratic group known as “The Squad,” has confirmed that she is currently under investigation by the Justice Department. The investigation revolves around allegations of the misuse of federal funds for security services. Bush, however, vehemently denies any wrongdoing and insists that the accusations are baseless.
Addressing the ongoing situation, Bush stated, “I hold myself, my campaign, and my position to the highest levels of integrity. I also believe in transparency, which is why I can confirm that the Department of Justice is reviewing my campaign’s spending on security services.”
The congresswoman asserted that, since before taking office, she has faced continuous threats to her physical safety, prompting her to use campaign funds for security services. Notably, as a rank-and-file member of Congress, she does not have access to personal protection provided by the House.
Bush categorically denied using federal tax dollars for personal security services and refuted claims that she misused federal funds. “Any reporting that I have used federal funds for personal security is simply false,” she emphasized.
Moreover, she addressed right-wing organizations’ recent attacks, particularly focusing on her husband’s role in providing security services. Bush clarified that her husband, whom she retained as part of her security team, has extensive experience in the field and offers services at or below a fair market rate.
The controversy escalated in March 2023 when two FEC complaints were filed against Bush regarding security payments to her husband, Merritts. The Committee to Defeat the President, an anti-Biden super PAC, accused Bush of violating federal campaign finance laws by paying Merritts $60,000 for security in 2022. Notably, Merritts does not possess a license to perform security functions in Bush’s congressional district.
Additionally, Bush’s campaign disbursed $225,281 to the St. Louis-based PEACE Security firm for personal protection throughout 2022. The payments to Merritts, coupled with the substantial amount paid to PEACE Security, have raised concerns and led to further scrutiny.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed a complaint urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate whether Bush “used campaign funds for personal use.” The complaint specifically references the $60,000 payment made in 2022 for security services provided to Merritts.
As the Justice Department investigation unfolds, the congresswoman remains steadfast in her denial of any wrongdoing. The outcome of this inquiry will undoubtedly shape the narrative surrounding Cori Bush’s tenure and financial practices, with potential implications for her standing within the Democratic Party.