(NewsReady.com) – In the months that followed the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol Building, many lawmakers hired security teams. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) was among them. The freshman lawmaker was vocal about the amount of death and other threats she was receiving. The congresswoman is now under investigation by the Department of Justice because of her security expenditures.
Rank-and-file members of Congress do not receive security details. Only those in party leadership positions get protection, like the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson (R-LA), who is third in line for the presidency. Bush was not among those lawmakers to receive security, so she had to hire her own team. She took that opportunity to employ her lover at the time, Cortney Merritts. Bush later married him, but there was a cloud of suspicion surrounding them.
According to reports, Bush spent more money than any other member of the House after the attack on the Capitol. She paid Merritts over $100,000 in funds from her campaign.
The Department of Justice is now investigating the way she spent her campaign funds. The scope of the probe is not known. But sources claimed subpoenas were issued to members of her campaign staff and others. They also said that investigators were asking similar questions to the ones that the Office of Congressional Ethics asked last year.
In the fall of 2023, the Office of Congressional Ethics cleared Bush of wrongdoing in an investigation over the money she spent on security. The committee voted to recommend dismissal of the allegations, stating that Merritts did, in fact, provide “bona fide” work and that it didn’t look as though he was overpaid. Federal law allows candidates to hire family as long as they are providing a real service at a price in line with the market value.
In addition to the investigation by the DOJ, the House Ethics Committee is also investigating the congresswoman. She said she is cooperating and maintains she did nothing wrong.
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