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House Ethics Committee Reviewing Potential Violation by Rashida Tlaib, Considering Full Investigation

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The House Ethics Committee is investigating potential campaign finance violations regarding payments made to Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan following last November’s election.

Politico reported that the congresswoman’s office confirmed the review of payments by the committee.

Tlaib’s staff has denied misuse of funds saying she “fully complied with the law and acted in good faith at all times.”

Federal Elections Commission law allows candidates to take a salary from campaign funds during the campaign; however, payments totaling $17,500 were made after the Nov. 6 election.

The relevant FEC provision (pg. 199) states: “If the candidate wins the primary election, his or her principal campaign committee may pay him or her a salary from campaign funds through the date of the general election, up to and including the date of any general election runoff.”

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Further, “no salary payments may be paid beyond the date he or she is no longer a candidate.”

According to her campaign’s disclosure form, salary payments were made on Nov. 16 for $2,000 and Dec. 1 for $15,500.

The description listed for the payments is “salary.”

The form shows Tlaib was getting paid $2,000 every two weeks or $4,000 a month, starting in May 2018, with the exception of August, when the campaign paid the candidate a total of $6,000.

Do you think Tlaib's post-election salary payments were unethical?

The Dec. 1 payout of $15,500 following the Nov. 6 deadline is all the more conspicuous when compared to these previous months’ payments.

Tlaib was sworn in as a House member and began earning a congressional salary of $174,000 per year on Jan. 3 of this year.

“Representative Tlaib has cooperated completely with the Committee to resolve the referral, which involves the same claims over her publicly disclosed salary during the campaign that conservative groups pressed back in March,” Tlaib spokesperson Denzel McCampbell wrote in a statement to Politico.

The Washington Free Beacon was the first to report on the post-campaign salary payments to Tlaib.

“On its face, it looks like the $2,000 payment on November 16 might be for the candidate’s salary for the first two weeks of November,” an election law and government ethics lawyer told the Free Beacon.

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“But given that the election occurred on November 6 — i.e., part-way through the first November pay period — I am surprised that this last payment wasn’t prorated. In other words, Tlaib stopped being a candidate halfway through this period, but it appears that she kept collecting her full salary as if she was still a candidate throughout the full first two weeks of November.”

The ethics attorney speculated the $15,500 payment may have been an effort to augment her salary from the campaign while avoiding the negative publicity of taking a larger sum during the race.

According to the Free Beacon, the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute paid Tlaib $85,307 for a “Leadership in Government Fellowship” in 2017.

However, Tlaib listed the amount she earned from the fellowship as $68,307 in her congressional financial disclosure form.

She also earned $42,500 working for the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center.

In May 2018, Tlaib left her full-time position with the Detroit-based firm, which deals with economic social justice issues, to focus on her congressional race.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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