By Andrew Kerr
Democratic Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and her top aide are no longer board members of the outside PAC credited with orchestrating her political rise, according to a corporate document filed Friday to a Washington, D.C., agency.
The New York Democrat and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, joined the board of Justice Democrats in December 2017, according to the political action committee’s website. It also said the two held “legal control over the entity” at the same time it was playing a key role in supporting Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign prior to her shock victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in June 2018.
Attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez said she was removed from Justice Democrats’ board in June 2018, but she was listed an “entity governor” of the PAC as recently as March 14, according to corporate filings, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Has Ties To A Dark Money Group)
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were officially removed from Justice Democrats’ board on March 15, according to a corporate document filed that day to the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
It’s unclear why it took Justice Democrats more than eight months to formally remove Ocasio-Cortez from its board. The PAC did not respond to a request for comment.
Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that she and Chakrabarti controlled Justice Democrats while it simultaneously supported her primary campaign.
If the FEC finds that her campaign and the PAC were operating in affiliation, it could result in “massive reporting violations” or potentially even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith previously told TheDCNF. Another former FEC commissioner, Hans von Spakovsky, wrote in a March 10 Fox News op-ed that he believes there’s sufficient evidence to “justify opening a criminal investigation” into Ocasio-Cortez.
Rojas, Justice Democrats’ executive director, was a field organizer for the Ocasio-Cortez campaign in 2018 while she was also serving as campaign director for the PAC. Chakrabarti preceded Rojas as executive director.
Drummer is the executive director of New Consensus, a nonprofit group that played a key role in developing the Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal was written in a single weekend in December by New Consensus, Justice Democrats and Ocasio-Cortez staffers, along with the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy organization.
“We spent the weekend learning how to put laws together,” Chakrabarti told The New Yorker in January. “We looked up how to write resolutions.”
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