‘It’s a Form of Legal Trolling’: AOC Tries to Brush off FEC Complaints Against Her and Her Ex-Chief of Staff

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Leah Millis/Reuters

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tried to brush off the pile of Federal Elections Commission (FEC) complaints filed against her and her former chief of staff.

As IJR previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti announced he was leaving the congresswoman’s office to pursue other political passions amid the announcement that he was under FEC investigation for allegedly funneling more than $1 million between shell companies and PAC accounts.

Chakrabarti ran several entities, including Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress PAC, and Brand New Congress, LLC.

The particular FEC complaint that is being investigated was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), but it was just one of several ethical complaints targeting Chakrabarti and Ocasio-Cortez. As IJR has reported, the two face:

  • An FEC complaint from NLPC alleging Chakrabarti funneled more than $1 million between his LLC and his PAC to avoid campaign disclosures;
  • An Office of Congressional Ethics complaint from the Coolidge Reagan Foundation for alleged misuse of congressional resources after it was revealed that Ocasio-Cortez gave her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, an official House email account;
  • An FEC complaint from the Coolidge Reagan Foundation against Chakrabarti for allegedly paying Roberts through his LLC so the campaign would not have to disclose payments to the candidate’s boyfriend;
  • An FEC complaint from the Coolidge Reagan Foundation against Chakrabarti for allegedly running a political “subsidy scheme” by using PAC accounts to drive down costs for his LLCs to the tune of several million. This allowed the LLCs to skirt campaign finance laws because the transaction laws were not considered in-kind contributions, which they legally should have been.

The complaints both stem from two nonpartisan organizations. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation is a First Amendment foundation with a goal to “advance liberty.” The NLPC  has a goal of “promoting ethics in public life.”

While the groups are not partisan, Ocasio-Cortez still brushed the complaints off as political hit jobs.

During an interview with The Daily News on Thursday morning, the congresswoman claimed the two organizations were just Republican trolls.

“All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It’s a tactic they use and it’s very common. It’s a form of legal trolling.”

She went on to say that she and Chakrabarti are “in conversation” with the FEC, and maintained that they are “in total compliance” with the investigation.

Dan Backer, an attorney with the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, claimed that the fact Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti are talking to the FEC shows that there is merit in the complaints.

“If they’re talking to the FEC, they’re in conversation, that means the FEC probably found reason to believe they violated the law,” Backer told IJR, adding, “I think she’s more or less admitting to it.”

Backer also addressed the claim that the complaints are just “trolling” from “fringe, Republican groups.”

“When the [liberal donor] funded groups like the Campaign Legal Center and CREW [Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington] go around filing complaints against Republicans, then it’s totally okay and it’s fine. When a Republican group files a complaint against a Democrat — or in this case, a nonpartisan organization — but when it’s against Democrats, of course it’s always the ‘fringe.’ And nobody’s better able to evaluate the legal merit of the complaint than the criminal that the complaint is against.”

As for whether the FEC will come down hard on Ocasio-Cortez or Chakrabarti, Backer said it won’t be announced until the investigation is fully concluded.

“It’s hard to know which of her illegal actions she’ll be found guilty of, but eventually we’ll find out,” said Backer.

What do you think?

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Don
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Don

I had a second cousin that was a federal judge, I called him to ask for advice on the divorce I was going through. His advice, justice isn’t always just. It seem like the democrats have their own set of rules that are far different from what everybody else has. I think character over color of skin should be the way to select a candidate!

Dave
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Dave

Just hope it’s not a half-hearted attempt like the DOJ under Obama and Sessions trying to convict the ethically challenged senator Menendez fr New Jersey of bribes, kickbacks and under aged girls with his doctor friend that was convicted of Medicaid fraud to the tune of $100 million dollars. The trial was a hung jury despite overwhelming evidence….so of course the corrupted DOJ at that time dropped the 40 some charges and Menendez to this day still calls the US Senate home….

Screwtape
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Charles,

Because “just us justice” for them is not the same as for the rest of us.

Patti Harrison
Member

Shut this woman down, get her out of office, she seems to be always in the news because of something she has said or done!!!

Charles
Member

Democrats are crooks. One after another is found out. The problem is that none of them face prosecution. The Clintons are a prime example. How many crimes have they been found guilty of, but no jail time? Democrats seem untouchable.

Betsy Lawson
Member

Ms Thang is in trouble…lol

Screwtape
Member

Suck it up AOC. Your Twisted Sister Omar also faced FEC and MN violations. She paid her fines and continues onwards, without even blaming a vast Jewish conspiracy. (on the other hand she’s now facing immigration and tax investigations).

Remember a time when such disgraces meant loss of office?

Mary Ridosh-Spalding
Member

Throw this ignorant, degenerate inbred in jail!!!

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