March 4, 2019

BREAKING: AOC’s chief of staff ran $1M slush fund by diverting campaign cash to his own companies.

The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat’s chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of “dark money” in politics.

Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used.

The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.

Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as “really weird” and an indication “there’s something amiss.” They said there was no way of telling where the political donations went — meaning they could have been pocketed or used by the company to pay for off-the-books campaign operations.

PACs are required to disclose how and when funds are spent, including for expenditures like advertisements, fundraising emails, donations to candidates, and payments for events and to vendors.

The private companies to which Chakrabarti transferred the money from the PACs are not subject to these requirements.

The complaint names Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti as respondents. It asks the FEC to investigate and audit the two PACs, saying they were engaged in an “an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of campaign expenditures.”

Developing…

UPDATE: “We know this would still be under wraps if she hadn’t stepped on senior Democrat toes. They’re ready to throw her to the wolves.”

Speculation, but it sure seems like informed speculation.

Flashback (From Ed): “Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, admitted that the [Green New Deal] FAQ shared with NPR and posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s website was genuine. Metadata from the document posted by NPR confirmed that Chakrabarti was listed as one of the authors of the FAQ.”

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.