Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may be in trouble following accusations that she and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, violated campaign finance laws. If the claims are true, she could be facing jail time, according to one lawyer.
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“These are serious and troubling allegations," attorney Gayle Trotter told FOX Business' Kennedy on Tuesday. "And if they’re true, they could result in serious consequences, including jail time.”
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative government watchdog, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which alleges that Chakrabarti siphoned more than $885 thousand in contributions from donors, to political action committees (PACs), and then into private companies under the guise of “strategic consulting.”
The NLPC claims it was an attempt to avoid reporting campaign expenditures.
Large financial transfers from PACs to private companies are technically legal, however the NLPC claims that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti attempted to orchestrate this “extensive off-the-books operation” in order to dodge Congressionally-mandated contribution reporting requirements.
Per the NLPC complaint, Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were wrongly unlisted as controlling the PACs which were reportedly funneling money back into their campaign coffers.
Trotter noted that “it’s so ironic that [Ocasio-Cortez] has been out there talking about transparency and the malign influence of money in politics and yet these are very clear rules that every candidate has to follow.”
In response to the complaint, on Tuesday Ocasio-Cortez denied the allegations to Fox News saying, “there is no violation.”
When asked if the complaint proves she is connected to “dark money,” Ocasio-Cortez replied, “Oh no, no, I’m 100% people funded, thank you.”
Nonetheless Trotter said the controversy “could derail the socialist wannabe of the Democratic party.”
“If you can’t even get the rules right and follow the laws … and you disregard the laws that are already on the books, it makes constituents wonder what your agenda is,” she said.