The walls are closing in on Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, the infamous “Squad” member and one of America’s most divisive “leaders.” We can officially call her #CrookedCori now.
As we speak, the Justice Department is investigating Bush for a wide range of campaign finance violations that stem from her congressional campaign’s spending on fake security services from her definitely-not-licensed “security guard” lover and now-husband Cortney Merritts.
Bush claims she needs security after all the death threats made against her, but having produced not a single shred of proof, it sounds more like she’s pulling a Jussie Smollett.
Thankfully, the American people aren’t stupid, and neither are federal regulators.
Bush’s illegal behavior was first exposed in a Committee to Defeat the President complaint I proudly filed with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Bush of embezzlement and fraud. Under the guise of “security,” Bush repeatedly lined her family’s pockets at the expense of her donors, breaking federal and local laws in the process. She either paid her ex-lover and now-husband to perform work he could not legally provide — a violation of federal law by her and local laws by him — or just paid him meretriciously. (It turns out you can’t just pay your boo to watch your booty.)
Either way, Bush broke the law, and then she fumbled the cover-up. Bush’s team changed FEC descriptions of the continuing payments, which spurred our follow-up complaints to the FEC and DOJ. But they still didn’t get her husband licensed (why not?), never produced a shred of evidence of so-called threats (why not?), and couldn’t prove his “extensive security experience” (again, why not?).
What Bush did was send her lawyer after us in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding, and we sure as heck didn’t back down. We fought back.
Accountability was a long time coming. But the DOJ’s current investigation didn’t just come out of nowhere. Bush is being held accountable now because of months and months of due diligence from conservative fighters who refused to look the other way. It takes bare-knuckle groups, like the Committee to Defeat the President, to regularly fight for “small” causes, but we’re seeing big results.
Yes, it requires campaign finance expertise. Yes, it requires an intimate understanding of federal, state, and local laws, knowing where to look — at “what” and “who.” And yes, it requires time, effort, and money, combing through research, identifying the relevant legal statutes, and packaging it all in a way that will resonate with regulators. In this case, we alerted the FEC; the Office of Congressional Ethics; the St. Louis Police Department; Washington, D.C., city regulators; and the DOJ in particular (twice!) — that sort of due diligence isn’t easy to execute and sustain.
Above all else, it requires persistence and resilience. Holding the culprits accountable takes thick skin.
Staying the course matters, no matter how long it takes. Over the years, I became known for taking on Democrats who deserve it — time and time again, regardless of the consequences. Hillary Clinton was held accountable and fined — for the first and only time in her career— because of the persistent efforts I led at the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, as was socialist Bernie Sanders. I have worked with other tough-as-nails clients to take on AOC, Michael Bloomberg, and Joe Biden, among other bad actors inside the Beltway, while defending our right to free speech — even when it wasn’t popular, easy, or cheap.
As Americans, it is our collective duty to hold the powerful accountable, no matter their level of power. And so, I urge Americans to stay the course in 2024, acting on principle and calling out the wrongdoers. Now more than ever, we need outside groups that will continue to hold bad actors to account, especially the leftist politicians who are relentless in their quest to undo American greatness. All of us can do the work or support the work being done — because it’s the work that matters.
The radical Left won’t like it. Even now, Bush is blaming “right-wing” watchdogs for doing their duty, rather than finding a mirror.
But that won’t stop us. We are all the watchdogs now, and we aren’t staying on any leash.
Dan Backer is a veteran campaign counsel, having served more than 100 candidates and political action committees, overseeing more than $150 million in political spending over the past decade. He practices law as a member of Chalmers, Adams, Backer & Kaufman LLC.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.