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Cori Bush Files Financial Disclosures Following Daily Caller News Foundation Report

(Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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Progressive congressional nominee Cori Bush filed her financial disclosure with the House of Representatives on Saturday after the Daily Caller News Foundation reported earlier in August she was at least a year late in filing the report as required by federal law.

Bush is all but certain to become the first black woman to represent Missouri in Congress following her victory over 10-term Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. in the state’s Democratic primary on Aug. 4. The progressive activist was supported by Justice Democrats, the outside political action committee that was instrumental in New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ascent to Congress in 2018.

Bush’s financial disclosure reveals she has collected $31,607 from her campaign in 2020 in the form of a salary which the report notes is “allowed by FEC regulations.”

FEC regulations state that candidates such as Bush may only pay themselves a salary up to “what the candidate received as earned income in the previous year.”

Bush reported earning $32,367 in 2019, meaning she’ll meet the FEC’s salary threshold if she takes in an additional $760 from her campaign. (RELATED: Progressive Upstart Cori Bush At Least One Year Late Disclosing Her Personal Finances As Required By Federal Law, House Records Show)

It’s unclear if Bush intends to continue taking a salary from her campaign. Bush’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 04: Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush celebrates with friends and family at her campaign office on August 4, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. Bush, an activist backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats, defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) in Tuesday's primary election to become the first black woman elected to represent the state of Missouri in congress. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 04: Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush celebrates with friends and family at her campaign office on August 4, 2020, in St. Louis, Missouri. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Candidates for federal office are required to file financial disclosure statements after they raise or spend more than $5,000 in their campaign, according to the House Committee on Ethics. Bush passed that threshold by the end of June 2019, according to a report her campaign submitted to the FEC.

A candidate’s failure to file their financial disclosure form is “technically a violation of the Ethics in Government Act,” government affairs lobbyist Craig Holman of the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen previously told the DCNF. However, the statute is “rarely enforced unless the violation is egregious and deliberate,” he added.

Candidates such as Bush that don’t disclose their finances open themselves up to “political liability, more so than legal liability,” Holman said.

“[T]he secrecy and legal infraction provides an opponent with plenty of fodder to attack the candidate during the campaign,” Holman said.

Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas told The New York Times following Bush’s primary victory over Clay that the “Squad is here to stay, and it’s growing.”

The so-called “Squad” of progressive freshman congresswomen includes Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, each of whom have faced their own allegations of violating campaign finance laws. (RELATED: In Less Than A Year, 3/4 Of The ‘Squad’ Is Under Financial Investigation)

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