Ocasio-Cortez Denies Campaign Finance Violation and 'Dark Money' Allegations

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

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Justice Democrats responded to questions about the arrangement in a May 2018 post titled: "When I look at the FEC report for Justice Democrats in 2017, why are there so many expenditures to 'Brand New Congress"? Brand New Congress LLC was created by Chakrabarti to serve as a " 'campaign in a box, ' a one-stop vendor for communications, field, online organizing, fundraising and the like" for those candidates, Mitrani said in his statement.

Chakrabarti defended himself on Twitter on Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez responded after the National Legal and Policy Center's Government Integrity Project filed an FEC complaint saying her top aide shifted the funds in what it argued could have been a bid to avoid disclosure.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising email Thursday alleging that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was "coming after" her and some of her colleagues.

Large financial transfers from PACs to private companies are technically legal, however the NLPC claims that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti attempted to orchestrate this "extensive off-the-books operation" in order to dodge Congressionally-mandated contribution reporting requirements.

More news: White House Blasts Congressional Democrats Seeking Files From Trump Associates

"It sounds to a lot of people like that's a way to skirt the campaign finance laws in this country", former Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom".

Adav Noti, the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC lawyer, said the arrangement was highly unusual and seemed meant to obscure the destination of the funds.

It will be recalled that Ocasio-Cortez has built her budding reputation on the platform of "clean" politics, with the congressional freshman repeatedly emphasizing that her campaign does not accept money from corporate political action committees (PACs), which she has described as "dark money". "This is a completely overheated speculation".

Brand New Congress formed in 2016, followed by Justice Democrats the following year. The company, then called Brand New Campaign LLC, was set up to provide all-in-one campaign services to candidates without political background. "And now, lobbying groups across the board are working to punish them for it".

President Donald Trump's second son took shots at Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats when Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked him to comment on his name being included in a list of 81 people and entities that Democrats are demanding documents from, in their wide-ranging investigation.

Ocasio-Cortez's swift rise and outspoken personality make her a prime target for GOP lawmakers and conservative media outlets.

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