The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) watchdog group filed a complaint on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to request an investigation into Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) for allegedly using campaign funds for personal use, after reports that her now-husband Cortney Merritts was paid $62,359 for security services.
The campaign was paying Merritts while simultaneously paying PEACE Security $225,281 and a person named Nathaniel Davis $50,000 for “security services.”
Additionally,Merritts reportedly did not have a St. Louis private security license, nor was he in the database of licensed security professionals in the D.C. area. The reports also showed that Bush and Merritts had been in a personal relationship during the same time before they were quietly married in early February 2023.
FACT noted that candidates for federal office can not use campaign’s funds for personal use, and “payments that are not for bonafide services at fair market value could fall under one of two prohibited categories—’payments to family members’ or ‘gifts.’” And since the two were in a relationship, “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,” meaning the payments would either qualify as “impermissible payments to a family member or an impermissible gift.”