New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may insist she is a proponent of transparency and change, but a new federal investigation is poking massive holes in her claim.
But like many on the left, her public rhetoric does not match the private dealings she is intimately acquainted with.
Take, for example, Saikat Chakrabarti. Until his sudden resignation on Friday, Chakrabarti was Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.
But he appears to have secrets that are inconsistent with AOC’s message of transparency.
According to an exclusive report by the New York Post, a federal investigation has been initiated to inquire into two political action committees Chakrabarti founded. The report comes on the heels of his unexpected resignation last week.
After some of his tweets helped ignite a significant conflict between Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats were put out that he had started public fights within his own party. “People were not happy that he used his Twitter account to comment about members and the bills that he and his boss oppose,” a senior House Democratic staffer told the Post. “There was a series of colliding and cascading grievances.”
But prickly tweets are the least of Chakrabarti’s worries now. At least if the New York Post’s sources are correct.
At the center of the alleged federal investigation are two uber-progressive PACs, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, both set up by Chakrabarti. Those PACs “funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled” according to the Post’s report on Federal Election Commission filings.
“In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 million, mostly from small donors. A third of the cash was transferred to two private companies whose names are similar to one of the PACs — Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC,” the New York Post reported.
Per a complaint from the watchdog National Legal and Policy Center, Chakrabarti set up the companies to purposefully avoid federal reporting requirements.
And it’s not just Chakrabarti’s companies that are raising eyebrows. His salary is also being investigated — but not for being too high.
Rather, the investigation is looking into why his salary was uncharacteristically low for his high-ranking role in AOC’s office.
While Ocasio-Cortez was raising everyone else’s salary, she cut Chakrabarti’s to $80,000 despite the fact that his chief of staff job has an average salary of $146,830. Chakrabarti’s pay grade is suspect because congressional rules exempt staffers from disclosing outside income as long as they make less than $126,000.
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