House Ethics Committee Releases Emails Revealing Rep. Tlaib Requested and Took Money From Her Campaign, Possibly Violating Federal Law
The House Committee on Ethics Investigation has released emails proving that Rep. Rashida Tlaib demanded money for personal use from her campaign funds and photos of checks paid to her from that money totaling $45,000.
While demanding and receiving the funds, Rep. Tlaib may have violated federal law.
The committee has an ongoing ethics probe into the payments from the campaign to Tlaib during her campaign in 2018 and it is now being expanded based on a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).
The emails reveal Rep. Tlaib desperately asking her campaign manager Andy Goddeeris and several others for money.
In an email on April 4, Tlaib wrote to Goddeeris and others saying that she was “struggling financially” and that she was “thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of 5k.”
Her campaign manager responded that he wanted to “do what’s necessary” if it’s “legally permissible.”
“If it’s legally permissible I want to do what’s necessary so that this campaign doesn’t dig you a hole you’re struggling to get out of,” Goddeeris responded. “I think I have a better solution [than a loan] I would like to discuss. But I am 100% committed that you get the money you need to stay focused.”
In another email later that month, Tlaib wrote, “I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.”
“With the loss of a second income to lean back on,” she wrote. “I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000. The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities. Please let me know if I can proceed.”
“Well, I’ll be damned – it turns out that a salary is, in fact, permissible under very limited circumstances,” campaign consultant Ryan Lomonaco wrote to Tlaib, though he warned that the media would eventually notice.
In August, Tlaib texted her future chief of staff Ryan Anderson at 6:38 a.m. with another request for money.
“Sorry for the early text but do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt,” Tlaib wrote.
The documents also included photographs of 15 checks made out to Tlaib from her campaign.
“Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes. If Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,” an August statement from the committee read.
According to a report from Fox News, Tlaib’s lawyers have argued that there is “no evidence that she violated the law on purpose or otherwise, and insisted there were no bad intentions.”