Ethics Probe of Rashida Tlaib Begins as Emails Show Personal Use of Campaign Funds

Rashida Tlaib is being investigated by the The House Ethics Committee for potential use of campaign funds for personal use. In a series of emails that have been revealed, the freshman congresswoman says she needed loans from her campaign to help her pay for child care, living expenses, and paying off debt.

Fox News reports:

The document dump was related to the committee’s ongoing ethics probe into Tlaib, which the panel said on Thursday would be “expanded” based on a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). 

Fox News continues:

Texts and emails released by the Ethics Committee show Tlaib frantically contacting members of her staff for financial help.

In one April 2018 email offered as an exhibit by OCE, Tlaib wrote that she was “struggling financially right now” and was “sinking.” She continued: “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 email, on April 4, 2018, Tlaib wrote: “I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.”

“With the loss of a second income to lean back on,” she wrote. “I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000. The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities. Please let me know if I can proceed.”

While it is permissible to use campaign money to provide a stipend for candidates during a campaign, the funds paid to Tlaib were received after she was elected, which is a potential violation of federal law.

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