Far-left “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is under the review of the House Ethics panel over allegations of a campaign finance violation.
The House Ethics panel confirmed a probe into a possible campaign finance violation, spurred by questions surrounding Tlaib’s decision to use her 2018 campaign funds to pay herself following the November 6 election, when she was no longer a candidate.
Her disclosures reveal two salary payments made — $2,000 on November 16 and $15,500 on December 1, for a grand total of $17,500 following the election. She paid herself a grand total of $45,500 in campaign funds throughout her bid, although most payments were in $2,000 increments. The last bulk $15,500 payment — following the election — has raised eyebrows. Some speculate that she deliberately underpaid herself for politically expedient purposes.
“The $15,500 payment is interesting. It’s not 100 percent clear what she’s doing, but what she may have done is to low ball her earlier payments for political purposes (at $2k), knowing full well that she would make up any difference at the end by giving herself a lump sum payment,” a government ethics lawyer told the Washington Free Beacon in March.
“That would let her skirt negative publicity, of the sort that Alan Keyes generated when he paid himself a sizable salary,” the lawyer continued.
“An after-the-fact, lump sum payment cuts against the purpose of the rule, which is to help the candidate pay for daily living expenses while campaigning,” he added.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) details the rules and requirements for candidates cutting themselves a salary.
“Salary payments may continue until the date when the candidate is no longer considered a candidate for office or until the date of the general election or general election runoff,” the FEC states, calling Tlaib’s November 16 and December 1 payment into question.
However, House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) clarified that the inquiry “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee,” as the Hill reported.
Tlaib spokesman Denzel McCampbell denied any wrongdoing from the Minnesota congresswoman, proclaiming that she “fully complied with the law and acted in good faith at all times.”
“As the Ethics Committee made clear, the fact that it received a referral does not mean any violation occurred,” McCampbell said in a statement.
“Representative Tlaib has cooperated completely with the Committee to resolve the referral, which involves the same claims over her publicly disclosed salary during the campaign that conservative groups pressed back in March,” he continued.
“Representative Tlaib fully complied with the law and acted in good faith at all times,” he added.
The panel is also reviewing complaints against Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Ross Spano (R-FL).