The Ethics Committee from the U.S. House of Representatives released a report on Thursday recommending an extension of the investigation into Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), saying there is “substantial reason to believe” the representative misused campaign funds.
The report from the committee focused on payments from the campaign to Tlaib after the November 6, 2018, election but before she took office. According to the report, Tlaib was paid $2,000 on November 16 and $15,500 on December 1. She also received payments totaling $28,000 before election day.
Tlaib maintains she did nothing wrong, saying the payments were salary permitted by campaign regulations. She said she “received the minimum salary payments necessary for me to meet my personal financial obligations, while ensuring that the campaign reserved the resources needed to reach voters.”
According to campaign regulations, candidates are allowed to receive payments from their campaign as long as it is for work completed prior to election day. The regulation is designed to ensure that running for office is an option for “candidates that are not independently wealthy or do not have the benefit of an incumbent’s salary,” the report says.
Tlaib, a single mother of two, said she had to quit her job as an attorney in order to run for office.
“I look forward to the Ethics Committee’s prompt resolution of this matter in my favor,” Tlaib said, “and I hope my experience will clear more room for people like me to run for office by availing themselves of FEC innovations that level the playing field, like paying a non-incumbent candidate salary or covering childcare expenses with campaign funds, so that financial privilege is not a prerequisite to participate in our democracy.”
The representative also said that payment received post-election was “to catch up on the salary which she had accrued, but had theretofore been withheld,” according to the report.
Read the full report here.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.