Alexandria ‘Sandy’ Ocasio-Cortez is knee deep in slimy, potentially illegal actions. According to a recently filed Federal Election Commission complaint, two political action committees created by her top aide funneled over $1 million into two of his own private companies.
The massive cash transfers could lead to serious jail time, and Sandy’s fingerprints are all over it.
Sort of hypocritical for the ignorant freshman congresswoman to claim that Donald Trump should be impeached for things that are NOTHING like what she is accused of orchestrating.
The cash transfers from the PACs, of which Ocasio-Cortez was one of three board members, were overseen by her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, also one of the board members.
“Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used.
“The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.”
Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as “really weird” and an indication “there’s something amiss.”
Basically, they collected the cash and then it disappeared.
“PACs are required to disclose how and when funds are spent, including for expenditures such as advertisements, fundraising emails, donations to candidates, and payments for events and to vendors.
“The private companies to which Chakrabarti transferred the money from the PACs are not subject to these requirements.”
The complaint names Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti as respondents, requesting that the FEC investigate their “elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of campaign expenditures.”
Chakrabarti founded a PAC called Brand New Congress in 2016 and another called Justice Democrats in 2017.
“Our idea is really to run a single unified presidential-style campaign that is going to look a lot like the Bernie Sanders campaign,” said Chakrabarti in a 2016 interview. “The campaign infrastructure and fundraising is set aside from the campaigning.”
“A few weeks after starting the Brand New Congress PAC, Chakrabarti formed one of the companies, Brand New Campaign LLC, in Delaware, using a registered agent service and mailbox-only address.
“In 2016 and 2017, Chakrabarti’s PACs raised about $3.3 million for the project, primarily from small donors. During this time, the committees transferred over $1 million to two shell companies controlled by Chakrabarti with names similar to one of the PACs, Brand New Campaign LLC and Brand New Congress LLC, according to federal election filings.
“Over the next seven months, as small-dollar political donations poured into the PAC from progressives across the country, the committee transferred over $200,000, 82 percent of the contributions, to the company Brand New Campaign LLC.”
The payments were for “strategic consulting,” they claimed, but were sent to an apartment address listed for Chakrabarti in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan.
“In 2017, Brand New Congress PAC transferred another $240,000 to Brand New Congress LLC, also for ‘strategic consulting.’”
“Another PAC co-founded by Chakrabarti that year, Justice Democrats, transferred an additional $605,000 to Brand New Congress LLC in 2017.
“Brand New Congress LLC does not appear to be registered in any state, according to state government records available online. It is unclear where or when it was incorporated.”
Adav Noti, the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC lawyer, said “None of that makes any sense,” said Noti. “I can’t even begin to disentangle that. They’re either confused or they’re trying to conceal something.”
“It does seem like there’s something amiss. I can only think of really two likely possibilities for this sort of pattern of disbursements,” said Noti. “One is the scam PAC possibility — they’re really just paying themselves and they’re concealing it by using the LLC. The other is that there’s actually another recipient, that the money is going to the LLC and then being disbursed in some other way that they want to conceal.”
“Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the FEC, said he has never seen such an arrangement.”
“It’s a really weird situation,” Smith said. “I see almost no way that you can do that without it being at least a reporting violation, quite likely a violation of the contribution limits. You might say from a campaign finance angle that the LLC was essentially operating as an unregistered committee.”
Chakrabarti declined to comment on the FEC complaint or provide details about his companies’ financial activities. Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, declined to comment.
“Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations.”
“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky explained.
“And fellow former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF that if ‘a complaint were filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation.’
“He also noted that such a probe could potentially result in jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Chakrabarti.”