by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) called for an investigation Sunday into alleged campaign finance violations by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide Saikat Chakrabarti.
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti have, since December 2017, held legal authority over Justice Democrats, the outside PAC credited with orchestrating her upset primary victory over incumbent Democratic New York Rep. Joe Crowley in June 2018, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported last week.
The conservative National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) also filed an FEC complaint last week, first reported by the Washington Examiner, alleging that Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, another PAC controlled by Chakrabarti, funneled $1 million into two private companies under his control during the 2018 midterms.
“As a former FEC commissioner who has studied the complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, I have concluded that there is unquestionably more than enough evidence to justify the FEC opening a civil investigation,” Hans von Spakovsky, now a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, wrote in a Fox News op-ed Sunday.
“There seems to be enough evidence here to justify opening a criminal investigation,” he added.
Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled Justice Democrats while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign. If the FEC finds that her campaign and the political action committee were operating in affiliation, it could result in her campaign receiving excessive contributions, former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF.