Payments made to Riley Roberts, the boyfriend of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have spurred an FEC complaint filing from a Republican group.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed the complaint alleging that the socialist Democrat may have illegally funneled thousands of dollars through an allied PAC to Roberts.
Inquiries began when Roberts was reportedly listed as having an official congressional email account, something that violates House ethics rules. Ocasio-Cortez defended the decision to provide her boyfriend with the email account by saying he isn’t a paid staffer and that he simply needs access to her congressional calendar.
Further scrutiny revealed that Roberts had received payments for ‘marketing services’ through a PAC hired by the freshman congresswoman.
According to the complaint, “Ocasio-Cortez converted official funds raised through contributions to her candidate committee to personal use by transferring a total of $6,191.32 from her campaign committee to Brand New Congress PAC in late August and September 2017, which contemporaneously had its affiliated LLC pay $6,000 to her boyfriend, Riley.”
The group contends that the payment potentially ran afoul of campaign finance law.
“On information and belief,” the group writes, “the true intent of the payment to Riley was to provide personal benefit to a boyfriend, rather than defray bona fide campaign expenses.”
“It’s not illegal for [Ocasio-Cortez] to pay her boyfriend, but it appears that they created some sort of scheme to avoid claiming the money [as a campaign expense],” an attorney who filed the complaint told Fox News. “What exactly did he do for that money?”
A spokesman for the PAC involved in the complaint claims all of the payments are legal, claiming Roberts was hired based “on his experience managing successful advertising and social media campaigns.”
Last week, Ocasio-Cortez fired off a tweet denying any impropriety and alleging that “the conspiracy machine is in full effect.”
“No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend,” she wrote. “Come on & VET.”
With an FEC complaint now filed and ethics violations being alleged, it would appear that at least some people are indeed vetting Ocasio-Cortez’ actions.
On Wednesday, the New York arm of the GOP also claimed they’d be filing a complaint.
“Bet your bottom dollar when [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] uses a PAC supporting her campaign to pay her boyfriend the GOP is going to file an FEC complaint,” they wrote on Twitter. “She blows a lot of hot air, but is knee-deep in the muddy swamp.”
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