by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Two organizations linked to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her outgoing senior aides are the subject of a Federal Election Commission investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, the Washington Examiner has learned.
The FEC opened an official case on March 7 to examine complaints against Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, two campaign committees started by Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff Shaikat Chakrabarti, according to an FEC confirmation letter disclosed to the Washington Examiner. The matter was assigned a case number and remains open. Ocasio-Cortez also sat on the board of Justice Democrats from December 2017 to June 2018, the Daily Caller reported.
The original FEC complaint was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, and claimed the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PACs were engaged in “an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of campaign expenditures.”
Campaign finance records indicate that the two PACs transferred over $1 million in political donations to private companies controlled by Chakrabarti, according to the complaint, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner in March. The private companies, which had names that were similar to the PACs, are not legally subject to the same spending restrictions and disclosure requirements as political action committees.