A House ethics panel is widening its investigation into whether Detroit Rep. Rashida Tlaib misused campaign funds when she accepted salary payments after last year's election.
The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday released a report into its several-months investigation surrounding the Nov. 16 and Dec. 1 payments. The Detroit News reports:
The report recommended the matter receive further review and even suggested the committee subpoena the freshman lawmaker and three campaign staffers.
Under federal regulations, candidates are generally allowed to receive salary payments from their own campaigns. However, one of the many conditions for those payments is they must be for work performed through the date of the general election.
"Rep. Tlaib, through her counsel, argues she complied with these conditions; however, several documents provided to the OCE by Rep. Tlaib suggest otherwise," the report said. "Specifically, documents provided to the OCE indicate Rep. Tlaib was paid for work she performed after November 6, 2018 — the date of the general election."
The report included an email from Tlaib's campaign treasurer to campaign staff. The email said "for most of us" the pay period for Dec. 1 checks was "Nov. 16, 2018 to December 31, 2018."
The payments totalled approximately $17,500. Tlaib had until that point only taken $28,000 from the campaign that year.
Lawyers for Tlaib told the News the post-election payments were "to catch up on the salary which she had accrued, but had theretofore been withheld." They also called the investigation "unprecedented," saying it would normally be handled by the Federal Election Commission.