Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of Saikat Chakrabarti "could be facing jail time" according to former FEC commissioner Brad Smith. Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti "obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC In December 2017," according to The Daily Caller'sInvestigative Reporter Andrew Kerr.
The PAC, which was controlled by Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, raised over $1.8 million before June 2018. According to Smith, if the FEC finds out the Democrats "operated with the PAC," they could face "massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits."
The Daily Caller reports:
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. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.
"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," FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky said.
"At minimum, there’s a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze. I don’t really see any way out of it," Smith said.
"The admission makes it open and shut if someone wants to file a complaint with the FEC. I don’t see how the FEC could not investigate that. We’ve even got their own statement on their website that they control the organization. I don’t see how you could avoid an investigation on that," Smith added.
According to The Washington Examiner, Chakrabarti funneled over $1 million in political contributions to two his personal business.
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