AOC’s chief of staff under Federal Investigation right after he resigned
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff who just quit on Friday is now under federal investigation according to an exclusive report by the NY Post. His name is Saikat Chakrabarti and feds are investigating possible campaign finance violations. Corbin Trent, the spokesman who also quit, is also being looked into.
According to the report, "the two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.
But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.
In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 million, mostly from small donors. A third of the cash was transferred to two private companies whose names are similar to one of the PACs — Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC — federal campaign filings show."
PAC's are required to follow very strict federal rules on how they spend and fund raise. Private companies are not held to the same standards of transparency with the public.
The NY Post states there was a complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center that suggests the two LLC's were possibly set up to "obscure those federal reporting requirements."
Those complaints were filed in March and the lawyer representing both the PAC's and LLC'ssaid they complied with all the laws and ethical standards. The lawyer also stated that Chakrabarti wasn't profiting from any of these entities.
There's a possibility that AOC's campaign was violating the $5,000 contribution limit from PACs to candidates as well.
Feds are also investigating if AOC's new salary rules were made so people like Chakrabarti could "dodge public financial-disclosure rules."
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NY Post stated that "Although Ocasio-Cortez raised the salaries of junior staffers in her office to just over $52,000 a year, Chakrabarti took a massive pay cut. The Harvard graduate and tech millionaire agreed to an annual salary of $80,000 — far less than the $146,830 average pay for his position.
Because his salary was less than $126,000, congressional rules exempted the chief of staff from having to disclose his outside income."