Cori Bush under Justice Department investigation over alleged misuse of security funds

Fox News has confirmed that the Justice Department is looking into allegations of misuse of funds meant to pay for Cori Bush’s security.

Sources said that the investigation is based on allegations that federal funds were spent in an improper manner.

Sources said that a subpoena was read out on Monday in the House, and it related to the Bush investigation.

The Justice Department has declined to comment.


In a response to Fox News Digital’s report, Bush’s Office confirmed that the “Department of Justice” is reviewing Bush’s campaign’s expenditure on security services.

The Congresswoman blamed “right wing organizations” for both the DOJ investigation and other investigations by the Federal Election Commission, House Committee on Ethics. “I did not use any federal funds for personal security.” “Any reporting that I used federal funds for my personal security is simply untrue,” she said.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, one of these watchdog groups reacted to the news of the Justice Department investigation and defended filing an official complaint to the FEC in the year 2023 about the details of payments Bush made repeatedly to a man now her husband.

In a statement obtained from Fox News Digital, FACT executive director Kendra Arnold stated that the payments made by her were originally characterized as’security’. She also paid large sums to other people for the same service at the same time. Her husband was also reportedly not licensed to provide these services.

She said: “Unfortunately after our complaint was submitted, Rep. Bush changed her disclosure to describe the ongoing payments to her spouse to something amorphous, vague and ‘wage payment’, which is at least contrary to the intent of the law, to clearly define the purposes of campaign expenditures,” she added. As with all of our complaints, we hope that an impartial investigation will reveal the truth and if there have been any violations.

Arnold said, “The laws and rules governing disclosure and use of federal campaign spending are written so that those elected to represent us in Congress do not personally benefit from their office.” Citizens deserve the truth and the facts speak for themselves. We are happy that several government bodies found an investigation to be warranted, and look forward to its outcome.

William McFarland, House Sergeant-at-Arms, relayed in a message that was read out loud by a House Clerk on Monday, to inform Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La. ), that his office had received a Grand Jury subpoena from the Justice Department for documents and that the sergeant’s office would obey the subpoena. The message didn’t go into further detail.

Social media was rife with speculation about the DOJ investigation, including whether or not it had anything to do with Jan. 6. However, sources pointed out that Bush was actually involved.

Bush has spent over $500,000 on her private security, despite publicly calling for defunding of the police movement.

PunchBowl News reported first that the Justice Department was conducting a criminal investigation into Bush in connection with the House sergeant-at-arms subpoena.

Fox News Digital reported that Bush’s former security guard husband, Cortney Merritts, whom she married in February of 2023, received more than $100,000 since Bush included him on her campaign payroll in January of 2022. The payments were initially classified as “security payments” before they changed their description to “wage expenditures” in April.

Bush received two FEC complaints in March 2023 regarding security payments Bush made to her husband.

A super-PAC anti-Biden, the Committee to Defeat The President, has filed a complaint alleging that Bush “flouted federal campaign finance laws” by paying Merritts $60,000. Merritts is not licensed to provide security services in the district of the congresswoman.

Bush’s campaign paid a total of $225,281 in personal protection to St. Louis-based PEACE Security throughout 2022. A press release issued by her office stated that Bush and Merritts had been together before Merritts entered Congress in 2020.

FACT filed a separate complaint asking the FEC to look into whether Bush had “used campaign money for personal use”, citing a $60,000 payment made to Merritts in 2022 to cover security services.

Arnold wrote at the time that it appeared Rep. Bush’s Campaign may have paid for services which were either unnecessary or over the fair market value due to her personal relationship with payee. If so, then these payments would be either an unpermissible payment to a relative or a gift.

The complaint stated that “therefore, we ask the FEC to investigate whether Rep. Bush has converted campaign funds into personal use by paying him a salary which was not for bona-fide services at fair market price,” If the FEC finds that one or more campaign law has been violated, then we ask the FEC to hold the respondents responsible.