An investigative report by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Andrew Kerr found that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti could be facing jail time, if it’s discovered that they are guilty of the array of campaign finance violations that they are suspected of.
According to the DCNF’s report, Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti had majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017.
“If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat’s campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to ‘massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,’ former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said,” Kerr reported.
“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Charlie Spies, a Republican election attorney, told The DCNF that, “It looks like the campaign and PAC are under common control and the PAC was funding campaign staff and activities as an alter-ego of the campaign committee, which would be a blatant abuse of the PAC rules.”
According to Kerr’s report, Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff could face time in prison if it’s determined that they knowingly withheld their ties with the with the political action committee from the FEC, in order to work around campaign contribution limits.
“At minimum, there’s a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze,” Smith, a Republican, told TheDCNF. “I don’t really see any way out of it.”