A slew of recently released text messages and emails between Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and various members of her staff do not paint a pretty picture for the freshman congresswoman.
In the messages, released by the House Ethics Committee, Tlaib is quoted in April of 2018 as asking for thousands of dollars to be released from campaign funds so she could pay her personal bills.
Finances out of control
Candidates are permitted to be paid out of campaign funds if they stopped working and are devoting the bulk of their time to their campaign.
Tlaib, however, was asking for a considerable amount of money. In one text, she asks for a payment of $5,000.
The text said she was “sinking” financially, then stated, “So I 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.”
In another set of texts, Tlaib was asking for a series of $2,000 payments. Tlaib, at one point, sent a message to her campaign manager at 6:38 a.m., saying “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.”
The Office of Congressional Ethics, a government watchdog group, thinks that Tlaib may have actually violated federal law with her requests for campaign fund disbursement to herself for childcare costs, car maintenance, and personal debt.
According to the OCE, if Tlaib “converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use, or if Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Tlaib may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”
She sits on several House finance committees
By her own admission, Rashida Tlaib was drowning in debt and couldn’t control her own finances. Yet, she is now in casting a vote for the budget of the United States, sits on the House Oversight and Reform Committee as well as, and ironically, the House Committee in Financial Services.
Forget whether or not she has done anything illegal and think about if this is the person that should be sitting on committees for oversight and finances when she possibly violated ethics rules and cannot even control her own financial situation.
According to reports, her own campaign questioned whether or not some to the payments made to Tlaib were for “legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”
This matter is currently under review by the House Ethics Committee, but no decision has been reached as of yet.