The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a criminal investigation into Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), a member of the so-called “Squad.” Bush, an advocate of the defund-the-police movement, allegedly misused taxpayer funds by using them for her private security.
Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department issued a subpoena to the House Sergeant at Arms, seeking records related to the inappropriate use of federal security funds.
🚨BREAKING NEWS — THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is conducting a criminal probe into @CoriBush, according to six sources familiar with the investigation.
The Justice Department subpoenaed the House Sergeant at Arms for records relating to the misspending of federal security money.…
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 30, 2024
The House Sergeant at Arms confirmed that he is cooperating with the investigation.
The House was notified Monday that the Office of Sergeant at Arms has been served a grand jury subpoena issued by the Justice Department for documents, and that the office will comply.
“The Honorable, the Speaker, House of Representatives. Sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the House of Representatives that the Office of the Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives has been served with a grand jury subpoena for documents issued by the U.S. Department of Justice,” clerk Susan Cole said before the lower chamber of Congress, formally relaying House Sergeant at Arms William McFarland’s message to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.
“After consulting with the office of general counsel, I have determined that compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the rights and privileges of the House. Signed, sincerely, William P. McFarland, sergeant at arms of the House of Representatives.”
The sergeant at arms is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House and is responsible for maintaining order in the House side of the U.S. Capitol complex, according to the House website. Duties include reviewing and implementing all issues related to the safety and security of members of Congress and the Capitol complex. The sergeant at arms “also coordinates extensively with the U.S. Capitol Police and various intelligence agencies to assess threats against Members of Congress and the Capitol complex.”
Bush has previously come under fire for her widespread use of private security while she publicly advocated for defunding the police. Not only has she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her own private security, but last year she was also the subject of an FEC complaint for paying her now-husband for security.
“It appears Rep. Bush’s campaign may have made payments for services that were unnecessary or above fair market value because of her personal relationship with the payee,” FACT executive director Kendra Arnold wrote in the complaint last year. “If so, these payments would qualify as either impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift. Therefore, we request the FEC investigate whether Rep. Bush converted campaign funds for personal use by paying a salary that was not for bona fide services at fair market value. Ultimately, if one or more campaign laws are found to have been broken, we request the FEC hold the respondents accountable.”