Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, could face serious jail time over multiple alleged violations of federal campaign finance law, according to former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky.
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti reportedly claimed majority control of the Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, and continued to operate it going forward.
The problem? Apparently, “Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations,” according to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Multiple former FEC commissioners are now speaking out about how much trouble the socialist Democrat may be in.
“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,” Spakovsky told the Foundation.
Another former FEC commissioner, Brad Smith, told the site that the complaint will likely trigger a “serious investigation.”
Smith argued both Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff could be looking at jail time depending on how the facts of the case unfold.
“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 added. “I don’t really see any way out of it.”
All it will take to trigger an investigation is a formal FEC complaint, which is almost guaranteed to happen.
“The admission makes it open and shut if someone wants to file a complaint with the FEC,” Smith explained. “I don’t see how the FEC could not investigate that. We’ve even got their own statement on their website that they control the organization. I don’t see how you could avoid an investigation on that.”
He added: “If this were determined to be knowing and willful, they could be facing jail time.”
Maybe AOC should consult an attorney.