Via – Fox News
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday released a trove of striking internal campaign communications sent in 2018 by Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, in which Tlaib urgently requested money from her congressional campaign to defray personal expenses — and, a government watchdog said, possibly violated federal law in the process.
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). Additionally, the Ethics Committee acknowledged for the first time on Thursday an investigation into Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings concerning a “personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office.”
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.”
In August of that year, Tlaib texted her future chief of staff Ryan Anderson at 6:38 a.m.: “Sorry for the early text but do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt.”
“I think we definitely afford to do so. But we need to really clearly define your time and space,” Anderson responded, noting that the arrangement could arouse “concern” among the media.
The OCE also attached scans of checks made out to Tlaib from her campaign, totaling thousands of dollars.
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