The House Ethics Committee on Friday, Aug. 7, ruled that Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) violated campaign finance rules by paying herself a salary when she was no longer a congressional candidate.
The committee found that Tlaib violated the Federal Election Campaign Act and ordered her to repay $10,800 that she received from her campaign in late 2018.
“The Committee also recognizes, however, that Representative Tlaib’s violation of the applicable restrictions was one of bad timing and not ill intent,” the committee wrote in a report. “Representative Tlaib engaged in good faith efforts to comply with the relevant FECA requirements.”
The committee added that it did not find any evidence that Tlaib sought to “unjustly enrich herself by receiving the campaign funds at issue.”
Tlaib had requested to receive a salary from her campaign during the 2018 primary after she stepped away from a steady paycheck to have more time on the campaign trail. But weeks after election victory, she received a $15,500 payment from her campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Tlaib testified that she had entered an informal agreement with her campaign to receive “back pay” out of concerns that her campaign could not pay her after her primary victory. The committee noted that it credits Tlaib’s explanation but ruled that she was not entitled to retain the full amount.
“In light of this, the Committee determined that no sanction was merited, provided Representative Tlaib returns the funds that she improperly received to her Campaign in full within a year of the date of this Report, with the understanding that she can make smaller payments over the course of the year,” the report concluded.
The ruling came after Tlaib secured victory over her Democratic challenger in Michigan’s primary on Tuesday.
Tlaib, one of four members of the Squad, proclaimed her win shows the progressive wing of her party is getting stronger and bigger.
“Let it be known that in the 13th District, just like in communities across our country, we are done with establishment politics that put corporations first,” Tlaib said in a victory statement. “If I was considered the most vulnerable member of the Squad, I think it’s safe to say the Squad is here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger.”
Last year, Tlaib ignited uproar after she vowed to impeach President Donald Trump shortly after she was sworn into Congress.
“We’re going to impeach the [expletive],” Tlaib said at the time.