Report: Cori Bush’s Campaign Paid Husband Without Private Security License for Security Services

15 July 2021 - St. Louis, MO - US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh participates in a roundta
US Department of Labor/Flickr

Cortney Merritts, Rep. Cori Bush’s (D-MO) now-husband after being quietly married last month, has collected $60,000 from the congresswoman’s campaign for security services despite reportedly not having a St. Louis security license.

A Fox News Digital report revealed that Merritts does not have the St. Louis private security license, which is needed to perform security functions in the area. At the same time, he was paid by Bush’s campaign while also spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to a St. Louis security firm and others for personal protection.

The report noted that “a Sunshine Law administrator said there are ‘no responsive records’ relative to the request, and Merritts does not have a current license” after Fox News filed a public records request with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Under a records search for St. Louis and its neighboring St. Louis County, which encompasses the congresswoman’s entire congressional district, the administrator noted that the “last security license issued to that individual expired in 2012.”

For private security, the St. Louis Metropolitan PD website states:

The Private Security Section is responsible for the processing, training, and licensing of all applicants for security licenses in the City of St. Louis. With the exception of St. Louis Police Officers, all persons performing a security function in the City of St. Louis must be licensed to do so through the Private Security Section.  This includes police officers from other jurisdictions who are working in the City of St. Louis. [emphasize added.]

Merritts also does not appear to be in the licensed security professionals’ database in Washington, DC, according to Fox News Digital, who confirmed with the city’s Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection.

Federal Election Commission records showed that the congresswoman’s campaign paid Merritts $2,500 for “security services” from January to December last year, totaling $60,000 from Bush’s campaign, and being reimbursed $2,359.59 for gas and travel. At the same time, Bush’s campaign also paid PEACE Security — which Fox News Digital says is a St. Louis-based firm that employs several “security operators” with military or law enforcement experience — $225,281.80 for “security services” and $50,000 to a Nathaniel Davis for “security services.”

Last week, it was reported that Bush married the “security guard” in a private ceremony in St. Louis. At the time, it was reported that it was the same security guard she had previously paid with campaign finances. The report claimed that the two had been together since before Bush took office in 2021.

As Breitbart News reported last year, the congresswoman was at the center of controversy upon revelations she paid for private security despite her hardline Defund the Police stance. She attempted to defend her use of security during an interview with CBS.

“The thing about defund the police is we have to tell the entire narrative. People hear ‘defund the police.’ But you know what they’ll say? Say ‘reallocate,’ say ‘divest,’ say ‘move.’ But it’s still the same thing,” she said.

“We can’t get caught up on the words. People spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend on caring and addressing the problem of police in this country,” she added.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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