Newly released emails and texts reveal Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., requested money from her congressional campaign to defray personal expenses in 2018, Fox News is reporting.
The House Ethics Committee, as part of its ongoing probe into Tlaib, released a trove of internal campaign communications on Thursday sent by Tlaib last year. The panel said its probe would be "expanded" based on an Office of Congressional Ethics referral, according to Fox News.
The House committee had acknowledged in September it was reviewing allegations of wrongdoing against Tlaib. A complaint against the congresswoman focused on her decision to pay herself $4,000 a month in salary from her 2018 campaign account, an action that conservative groups called improper.
Tlaib's spokesman has called that complaint politically motivated.
In an April 2018 email, Tlaib wrote that she was "struggling financially right now" and was "sinking," Fox News noted.
And she added: "So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k."
In another email that same month, Tlaib wrote: "I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.
"With the loss of a second income to lean back on. I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000. The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities. Please let me know if I can proceed."
Tlaib's attorneys have insisted there was no evidence that she violated the law on purpose or otherwise. They maintained that Federal Election Commission regulations permit campaigns to "pay limited salary to candidates who curtail outside employment to focus on their campaigns" in certain limited conditions.
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