The congresswoman and her chief of staff have been the target of several FEC complaints alleging that organizations tied to the duo have been funneling money to dodge campaign disclosures.
As IJR previously reported, the ethical concerns about Chakrabarti started after Luke Thompson, a Republican strategist, outlined how Riley Robers, Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend, received payments that seemed to be funneled through Chakrabarti’s PAC to avoid disclosures from the campaign.
A rich guy used a PAC to pay @AOC's boyfriend $6,000 when her campaign was running out of money. After AOC won, she gave that rich guy a job in her office. Follow me on a journey.https://t.co/KSQqq3xKRY
— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) February 20, 2019
Thompson’s probe spiraled into a web of FEC complaints all looking into Chakrabarti and his businesses, including Brand New Congress LLC, Brand New Congress PAC, and the Justice Democrats — a liberal activist group that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti founded.
The first complaint came from the Coolidge Reagan Foundation who demanded that the FEC look into the payments Chakrabarti made to Roberts. The second complaint came from the National Legal and Policy Center, who tracked payments from Chakrabarti’s LLC and PAC alleging that he funneled more than $1 million between the two to skirt campaign finance disclosures.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, the FEC has taken the complaints into consideration and formally launched an investigation into Chakrabarti, his businesses, and the Justice Democrats.
While this is the first official FEC investigation into Chakrabarti, it is not where his questionable dealings end. As IJR previously reported, he has also been called into question for receiving an unusually low salary as Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff which conveniently allows him to fall short of the threshold that would require he disclose his personal finances.
Additionally, Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were both listed in an Office of Congressional Ethics complaint for allegedly misusing taxpayer dollars by providing Roberts with an official Congressional email address, though the office denies that he actually worked for the office.
Chakrabarti announced late last week he was leaving Ocasio-Cortez’s office to pursue other work.