Twitchy is reporting that Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, is in a spot of hot water with the House Ethics Committee. She stands accused of taking a salary from her congressional campaign before taking office as a member of Congress.
The Hill notes that Tlaib has denied all wrongdoing. Also, the chairman and ranking member of the House Ethics Committee has hastened to state that just because Tlaib has been referred to the committee does not mean that she is necessarily guilty. The committee has until November 14 to decide whether to open a formal investigation.
Tlaib may have fallen prey to a complicated part of the campaign finance law that states that a nonincumbent candidate for public office may pay himself or herself a salary up until the election or when he or she drops out of the race. Rules exist about the amount of money a candidate may pay himself or herself. The idea is to allow people who are not independently wealthy to be able to run for public office.
The media is not reporting how exactly Tlaib is said to have violated campaign finance rules for payments from a campaign/ The best guess is that she may have accepted money after the 2018 election or that she may have exceeded caps in the amount she could pay herself. If she is found guilty of violating campaign rules, it is uncertain how the House Ethics Committee may punish her.
Tlaib is encountering this latest bit of bother having alienated lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. She is part of an unofficial group of female lawmakers of color known as “the Squad” whose most famous member is Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York. The Squad has been noted for its radical agenda and its often-outrageous behavior and rhetoric. They have become as well known as a thorn in the side of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as they are enemies of the Republicans and, especially, President Donald Trump.
Tlaib, a Palestinian American, is most famous for being involved in a dustup with the government of Israel over an abortive attempt to visit the Jewish State. At first, according to CNN, Tlaib along with fellow squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Michigan was denied entry to Israel because of their support for a campaign of economic warfare against the Jewish State. Tlaib then asked for a special dispensation to visit her relatives on the West Bank, including an ailing grandmother. The Israeli government granted permission for such a visit. Then, in a twist, Tlaib refused the offer, claiming that she would be prevented from attacking Israel from within.
Tlaib, according to the Washington Free Beacon, tends to highlight racially charged incidents that later turned out to be hoaxes. These incidents include the one involving Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack on himself, and the one involving the Covington Catholic schoolboys accused of smirking at a Native American activist on the Washington Mall.
The latest incident that Tlaib involved herself in featured a 12-year-old African American girl who accused a group of white boys of holding her down and cutting off her hair. This story turned out to be a fabrication. In none of these instances has Tlaib corrected the record or offered an apology.
Recently, during a hearing on vaping, Tlaib noted that a witness was winking at someone on the committee. She asked the witness whether she was a conspiracy nut. The witness denied the accusation, stating that she was just signaling to an old friend.
The latest kerfuffle caused by Tlaib occurred recently, according to Fox News, when she told the chief of the Detroit Police Department to hire only African American facial recognition analysts on the theory that white people think all black people look alike. The chief, himself an African American, declined the suggestion and noted that no one gets charged solely based on facial recognition analysis.
It is against this backdrop of misbehavior that Tlaib now is potentially in ethical trouble. Most media accounts note that Tlaib and the rest of the Squad have proven to be an irritant to Speaker Pelosi because of their unwillingness to compromise or to behave in the quiet, seen but not heard manner that is expected of freshmen members of Congress. Some have therefore speculated that the House Ethics Committee may not treat her and her ethics problems with any kind of forbearance as a result.