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U.S. Rep. Cori Bush Under Federal Investigation for Campaign Spending

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) at the Capitol. E&E News
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) at the Capitol. E&E News

By: Joe Mueller | The Center Square

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat serving Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, confirmed on Tuesday she’s under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged campaign spending violations.

Bush held a press conference Tuesday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol after several media outlets reported on the investigation earlier in the day.

“I hold myself, my campaign and my position to the highest levels of integrity,” Bush said. “I also believe in transparency, which is why I can confirm that the Department of Justice is reviewing my campaign spending on security services. We are fully cooperating with this investigation.”

Bush denied using taxpayer funds for security. She said she employed her husband and paid for his services with campaign funds. Several media outlets reported Bush spent more than $700,000 on personal security since she was first elected three years ago.

“Since before I was sworn into office, I have endured relentless threats to my physical safety and life,” said Bush, who gained notoriety during protests in Ferguson before she ran for office. “As a rank-and-file member of Congress, I am not entitled to personal protection by the House and instead have used campaign funds as permissible to retain security services.”

Last year, a complaint by a conservative watchdog group alleged Bush violated federal law and House ethics rules when she used a personal account on X, formerly known as Twitter, to share a C-SPAN video of her interrupting House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., when he was speaking on the floor.

“These frivolous complaints have resulted in a number of investigations, some of which are still ongoing,” Bush said. “The Federal Election Commission and the House Committee on Ethics are currently reviewing the matter, as is the Department of Justice. We are fully cooperating in all these pending investigations.”

St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, a former Ferguson City Council member, dropped out of the race for the Democratic party nomination to run against U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley last year to run against Bush.

"A DOJ investigation into the potential misuse of public funds is a serious matter," Bell said in a statement released to multiple media outlets. "As a prosecutor, I understand that Rep. Bush is entitled to due process. It is my hope that Rep. Bush will cooperate fully with the investigation and be transparent with the public in responding to the legitimate concerns they are likely to have."

Bush was elected in November 2020 after defeating longtime Rep. William Lacy Clay in an August primary election.

“I am under no illusion that these right-wing organizations will stop politicizing and pursuing efforts to attack me and the work that the people of St. Louis sent me to Congress to do – to lead boldly, to legislate change my constituents can feel and to save lives,” she said.

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