(USNewsMag.com) – A complaint was sent March 2 to the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) acting general counsel Lisa Stevenson asking for an investigation into whether Squad member and Montana Rep. Cori Bush used campaign funds to pay her husband, Cortney Merritts, for personal security services. The complaint was filed by The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
In 2022, Merritts was paid $60,000 from Bush’s campaign, despite Merritts not having the needed private security licenses required in St. Louis or in St. Louis County. He was paid in installments of $2,500 bi-monthly. He also received travel reimbursement totaling $2,359.59. In the database on security personnel with licenses in Washington, D.C., Merritts name does not appear.
Bush’s campaign also paid $225,281 to PEACE Security, based in St. Louis, and $50,000 to Nathaniel Davis for personal security services during the 2022 midterm election cycle.
In 2021, two St. Louis police officers were fired after not getting permission from department supervisors to be working security on Bush’s campaign.
Payments from campaign accounts for personal expenses, which the FEC considers to be anything that would exist even if there wasn’t a campaign, are prohibited according to FEC regulations. The FEC also prohibits payments to family members, unless a needed service, in which case payments not above fair market value are allowed. Campaigns are only allowed to spend campaign funds on services related to the campaign or for political purposes.
Bush, who has been in a relationship with Merritts since 2021, married Merritts in a private ceremony in late February 2023.
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