The House Ethics Committee on Thursday reportedly released a cache of documents related to their campaign finance probe of Rep. Rashida Tlaib that reveal the depth of the lawmaker’s financial woes leading up to her 2018 Election Day win.
The committee said the investigation — which opened in August — into whether the Michigan congresswoman misused campaign funds for personal use will also be “expanded” at the request of the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to Fox News.
Tlaib, in an April 2018 email to her campaign, explained how she was “struggling financially right now.”
“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,” she wrote in the email, which was released by OCE and obtained by the network.
In another April email, Tlaib wrote, “I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.”
Tlaib requested a “cost of living stipend” of $2,000 every two weeks, not to exceed $12,000 to cover “needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities.”
“Please let me know if I can proceed,” she asked.
Four months later, in an early morning text to her eventual chief of staff, Ryan Anderson, Tlaib asked, “do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt.”
Anderson replied: “I think we definitely afford to do so. But we need to really clearly define your time and space.”
OCE, in a press release that recommended the Ethics Committee probe Tlaib, said her 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.”
Their release said that Tlaib may have violated federal law if the lawmaker “converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”
Tlaib’s legal team in August denied she violated any laws. They argued their client abided by Federal Election Commission regulations that permit campaigns to “pay limited salary to candidates who curtail outside employment to focus on their campaigns.”
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