US Capitol Police have received a subpoena in the grand jury investigation into Rep. Cori Bush, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The subpoena is seeking materials related to threats directed toward the Missouri Democrat and communications from her office, her campaign, or her husband with Capitol Police, one of the sources said. A separate source familiar with the matter told CNN the previous subpoena to the House sergeant at arms also requested information about any threats and incidents involving Bush.
A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, has been asking questions about Bush’s security and the potential misuse of funds in recent months, according to people familiar with the investigation, and the probe has included outreach to other witnesses in addition to the earlier subpoenaed House sergeant at arms and Capitol Police.
Federal investigators also have reached out to other potential witnesses, including some involved in the personal security business, several sources said.
The investigation is still in a fledgling phase, some of the sources said, and Bush hasn’t been charged with any crime.
A lawyer for Bush did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The federal investigative activity around Bush adds to scrutiny of the congresswoman, a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Last year, the conservative group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying Bush may have misused campaign funds by paying her now-husband Cortney Merritts, more than $60,000 for security services during her 2022 campaign. Merritts and Bush married in February 2023.
FEC filings show that from January 19, 2023, through April 3, 2023, Bush’s campaign paid Merritts $15,000 for “security services” in six payments of $2,500. The filings show that on April 14, 2023, the campaign began paying Merritts $2,500 twice a month for “wage expenses,” through September 26, 2023, the last date for which data is available.
CNN asked Bush’s campaign if either she or Merritts were interviewed by the FBI, and if the campaign could provide timesheets for Merritts. The campaign declined to comment citing the pending federal investigation.
Merritts does not have a current private security license, according to local records, which is required for individuals who perform security services in St. Louis, Missouri, where Bush’s campaign is headquartered. The address listed for Merritts in FEC filings is the same as Bush’s campaign headquarters.
Bush said in October that the Office of Congressional Ethics had voted to dismiss a similar complaint, according to reports at the time.
FEC rules allow for candidates to hire family members if they’re paid fair market value for a bona fide service.
The congresswoman said she is “fully cooperating” with the Justice Department’s investigation in a statement Tuesday.
“First and foremost, I hold myself, my campaign, and my position to the highest levels of integrity,” Bush said in the statement.
“I also believe in transparency which is why I can confirm that the Department of Justice is reviewing my campaign’s spending on security services. We are fully cooperating in this investigation, and I would like to take this opportunity to outline the facts and the truth,” she added.
She maintained she has not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services and that she complied with House rules. Bush further explained she retained her husband’s security services “because he has had extensive experience in this area, and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate.“
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