Freshman Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been surrounded by a whirlwind of controversy after her campaign manager was accused of funneling one million dollars of the campaign’s money and putting it into companies he owns. These personal companies were said to have been struggling financially, which allegedly led to money being funneled into them.
The National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which is considered a watchdog group, originally filed the complaint against Saikat Chakrabarti, who was Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign manager.
You see, this wouldn’t have been a problem if these were just two friends moving money back and forth to each other. The issue comes in when you create a PAC as they are under much more scrutiny and must disclose where the money goes.
According to the Washington Examiner, Chakrabarti reported raising $3.3 million and then diverting $1 million into his companies without disclosing it. Ocasio-Cortez responded to the claim by arguing: “He’s not on my payroll. They were not working for me and they are two separate entities here.’ She added: “This is the difference between an LLC and a PAC.”
Chakrabarti, who is a Harvard tech millionaire, helped create Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats, both of which were started with the idea of helping smaller candidates like Ocasio-Cortez.
While some felt there was a sinister alternative motive, one former FEC lawyer can’t figure out if these two simply have no idea what’s going on or if they knew what they were doing was wrong.
“None of that makes any sense,” Adav Noti of the Campaign Legal Center explained. “I can’t even begin to disentangle that. They’re either confused or they’re trying to conceal something.”
To make matters worse, The Daily Mail reported that the company Chakrabarti started after he made the PAC was brought on for “strategic consulting.” Since making a statement Monday night, Ocasio-Cortez nor her team has yet to make a formal statement on the matter.