Washington Examiner

Democratic Representative Cori Bush still uses campaign funds to pay her husband amid ongoing DOJ investigation

Rep. Cori Bush ‍(D-MO) faces​ scrutiny‍ for using her campaign funds to pay her husband for security services amidst a⁤ Department of Justice inquiry. ⁤Recent filings show payments ‌totaling $135,000 since January 2022. Bush defends the payments, stating her husband’s expertise justifies his role, despite lacking a ‍current private​ security license, as​ reported by Fox News. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) is under investigation for paying her husband $135,000 from her⁢ campaign ‌funds ‍for security services‍ since January 2022. Bush defends this expenditure, citing her husband’s expertise,​ even though he ⁤lacks a current private security license, according to reports ⁣by Fox News.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) has continued payments to her husband for security services despite a Department of Justice investigation into the payments.

Recent Federal Election Commission filings indicate Bush’s campaign paid her husband, Cortney Merritts, $15,000 this year and has paid him $135,000 since January 2022. Bush has maintained her innocence during the DOJ’s inquiry into her.

“As a rank-and-file member of Congress I am not entitled to personal protection by the House, and instead have used campaign funds as permissible to retain security services,” Bush said in a January statement confirming the DOJ inquiry into her campaign spending.

“In accordance with all applicable laws and House rules, I retained my husband as part of my security team to provide security services because he has extensive experience in this area, and is able to provide the necessary services at or below a fair market rate,” she added.

Merritts does not have a private security license, but he did serve as an “air assault soldier in 101st Airborne,” Bush said, along with saying Merritts has worked security for other companies.

Merritts did not have a private security license in St. Louis as of February 2023 and hasn’t had one since 2012, Fox News reported. The St. Louis Police Department requires “all persons performing a security function” to be licensed.

The department’s website also says that working “on an expired license or no license subjects you to arrest or booking.” Basic requirements include being 21 with no felony convictions or chemical dependency and holding U.S. citizenship.

Another of Bush’s security guards who is considered a close friend of hers, Nathaniel Davis, also does not have a private security license. She has paid Davis, who is known for being a “spiritual guru” and claims he is 109 trillion years old, $164,837.50 since September 2020, according to FEC filings.

What differs with her husband is that all of Davis’s payments have been for “security services,” while Bush’s campaign has been filing Merritts’s payments as “wage expenses” since April 2023. In March 2023, a watchdog group filed a complaint against Bush with the FEC. It isn’t clear whether the FEC began investigating Bush’s campaign based on the complaint. However, the FEC and DOJ investigations started after the complaint was filed.


Despite compensation to Davis and her husband, Bush has spent more than $770,000 on St. Louis-based security companies. Merritts said in October 2023 that he still does security with Bush’s campaign despite initially denying the question.

The Washington Examiner asked Bush’s campaign for comment.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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