House Ethics Committee Finds Rashida Tlaib Guilty of Violating Campaign Finance Law

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., questions Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Looks like another ‘Squad Member’ has finally been snagged for ethical issues.

We’ve seen ethical questions and complaints concerning Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

There had been ethical questions raised about Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) as well. Now the House Ethics Committee has finally rendered a decision in her case. They found that Tlaib violated federal election laws in 2018 when she took $17,500 after the election for salary.

While candidates are allowed to receive some money from the campaign prior to Election Day, they can’t receive monies from the campaign for “salary” pertaining to “work” done after they are elected. So the Committee ordered that Tlaib return $10,800 of the amount of “salary” she had received after the Election Day. The remaining amount had pertained to “work” done prior to the election.

The Ethics Committee didn’t have much of a choice given the clear violation. The Committee is 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans at this point according to their website. But they did downplay it, saying that the payments were not made with “ill intent” and just “in bad timing.”

From Free Beacon:

“The Committee, after further reviewing the allegations, has determined that the evidence is sufficient to support a determination that a portion of the salary payments that Representative Tlaib received after the 2018 general election was inconsistent with the requirements outlined by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971,” the report said. “The Committee also recognizes, however, that Representative Tlaib’s violation of the applicable restrictions was one of bad timing and not ill intent. Representative Tlaib engaged in good faith efforts to comply with the relevant FECA requirements.”


Except that knowing the rules she clearly violated them and paid herself a salary after the election so that really doesn’t sound like “efforts to comply.”

What would have happened if she wasn’t caught and called out on it?

Here’s another curiosity about this decision. Tlaib just won her primary a couple of days ago and now they announce this. Given this case has been pending since last year, it’s pretty interesting that the decision comes down after the primary is over. Since she’s in a Democratic district winning the primary pretty much means she wins the seat and findings against her will not adversely impact her in the general election.

Despite this finding, they don’t intend any other action against her.

So she’s guilty, but there’s no penalty and she has a year to pay the money back.

Why bother to have the rules if there are no consequences?


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