The complaint, filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by the conservative non-profit Coolidge Reagan Foundation, comes after a different complaint alleging that two political action committees (PACs) backing the congresswoman’s campaign fed nearly $900,000 to a limited liability company (LLC) that functioned as a de facto slush fund for campaign spending, which is against campaign-transparency rules, Fox News reported.
The filing accuses Ocasio-Cortez of using her congressional privileges in an unethical manner in order to set up a House email address for her boyfriend Riley Roberts.
“Ocasio-Cortez improperly converted US House resources to her non-official, personal use by obtaining an official ‘@mail.house.gov’ e-mail address for her boyfriend, despite the fact he was not employed by her congressional office. Moreover, it appears she obtained the e-mail address for him by falsely designating him a ‘staff’ member,” the complaint states.
Attorneys for the foundation believe that Ocasio-Cortez violated restrictions on the personal use of House services and equipment outlined in the House Ethics Manual, noting that the provision of an official House-based email address for Roberts is a violation of rules that prevent outside individuals from having an official account.
“To my surprise, no one else had acted on this information, and while media coverage of misconduct is good, [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] has to be held accountable. On this matter, only OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] has the investigative authority to do so,” foundation attorney Dan Backer told Fox News.
Last month, the congresswoman said the account was given to her boyfriend so he could have calendar access.
“Actually this cal designation is permission so he can have access to my Google Cal,” she wrote on Twitter on 15 February. “Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time, check your facts before you tweet nonsense.”
“It’s totally naïve and inappropriate — you wouldn’t allow it in most companies, let alone the House of Representatives. There should be real consequences,” Chaffetz told Fox News.
Ocasio-Cortez is not the only one who has come under fire for the inappropriate use of personal email. Earlier, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a private server and email accounts for official business as the US secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The FBI launched an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information, but closed it in July 2016 without bringing charges against the then-Democratic presidential candidate. The probe was briefly reopened a few days before the November presidential election, but James Comey confirmed the agency's decision not to charge Hillary Clinton.