Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her chief of staff were quietly taken off the board of the political action committee (PAC) that helped her get into Congress amid scrutiny toward the ethics and legality of her position in the PAC, according to an article published Monday by The Daily Caller.
According to the report, Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, were removed from the board of the Justice Democrats PAC on March 15 after serving on it since December 2017.
Ocasio-Cortez’s attorneys told Snopes that the freshman firebrand had left the board in June 2018. However, D.C. corporate filings show that she and Chakrabarti were both listed as board members until earlier this month.
According to The Daily Caller, Ocasio-Cortez failed to tell the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that she and Chakrabarti served on the board of Justice Democrats during the time it was helping the congresswoman’s primary bid.
The dropping of Ocasio-Cortez and her chief from the board happened following campaign finance lawyers telling The Daily Caller that the New York Democrat’s position in PAC leadership could raise legal questions, as the PAC had backed Ocasio-Cortez’s candidacy for Congress.
A former member of the FEC, Hans von Spakovsky, discussed the issue with The Daily Caller earlier this month:
“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.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti have faced a lot of scrutiny in the past weeks.
Earlier this month, the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, filed an FEC complaint alleging that Justice Democrats and another PAC, Brand New Congress, — both founded by Chakrabarti — funneled over $1 million to other companies Ocasio-Cortez’s chief had control over.