Congress Announces Investigation in Rashida Tlaib as Texts Show Campaign Violations
House Ethics Committee investigating Democrat over potential criminal finance abuse
The House Ethics Committee has announced it is expanding its investigation into Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for possible campaign finance violations after Congress released text messages revealing potential criminal abuse.
The committee released a series of bombshell texts Thursday evening, in which the Democratic congresswomen asks for congressional campaign funds to help ease her own personal financial struggles, which is a potential crime.
Tlaib paid herself $17,500 from her campaign's bank account after winning her election in 2018, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.
It is prohibited for lawmakers to compensate themselves using campaign money once they are elected.
In a statement, the panel stated:
The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.
The committee's announcement came in response to a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which alleges:
Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.
If Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.
The OCE recommends that Rep. Tlaib is investigated “because there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use or Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”
“Texts and emails released by the Ethics Committee show Tlaib frantically contacting members of her staff for financial help,” Fox News’s Gregg Re reported.
“The OCE also attached scans of checks made out to Tlaib from her campaign, totaling thousands of dollars.”
“I am struggling financially right now. … I am sinking,” Tlaib wrote on April 4, 2018.
She later added: “So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me.
"I was thinking a one-time payment of 5k.”
According to the Daily Wire, in another email dated April 27, 2018, Tlaib wrote:
“I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.
"With the loss of a second income to lean back on, I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000.
"The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities.”
Fox News also highlighted a text message exchange that Tlaib had with her future chief of staff Ryan Anderson and her future senior aide Andy Goddeeris:
Tlaib: “Sorry for the early text but do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt.”
Anderson: “I think we definitely afford to do so. But we need to really clearly define your time and space if you’re also working at Sugar, the combo might draw the most concern.”
Goddeeris: “I think if you’re going to take a salary from the campaign, which I think you should, you should think hard about whether you need to be working part time at Sugar, because if you didn’t like the media’s reaction to you taking a salary while campaigning full time you probably won’t like the story that Rashida is paying herself from the campaign while getting paid by her job."
Tlaib is no stranger to controversy as she has repeatedly been in the national spotlight over her anti-Semitic beliefs and statements.
Late this summer, Israel banned Tlaib and Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) from entering the country, “stating that the two far-left members of Congress planned to harm Israel, increase incitement against it, and planned to meet with organizations that have expressed support for terrorism against it,” The Daily Wire reported.