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When news emerged in mid-2021 that Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, a member of the hard left, so-called “squad” in the House of Representatives and an outspoken proponent of the “defund the police” movement, had spent $30,000 on security in just the first quarter of 2021 alone, it reeked of hypocrisy.
That smell has never gone away, but now a new odor can be added to the mix: the subtle whiff of corruption.
According to KSDK-TV in St. Louis, Bush — who has now spent a grand total of at least $627,088 on security out of her campaign funds — married Army veteran and (you’re never going to believe this) personal bodyguard Cortney Merritts in a private ceremony last weekend.
“Marriage records filed with the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds show Bush signed her marriage license in a pact with Cortney Merritts on Feb. 11, a few days before their wedding,” the NBC affiliate reported.
And yet, despite the fact that Bush is arguably the biggest name in Missouri politics aside from GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, even the station didn’t report on the nuptials until Sunday, at least a week after they happened.
Why? For starters, they appear to have been secret. Then, we have for the reason behind the secrecy: The fact that campaign finance records show Bush paid her new husband $62,359 directly in campaign funds in 2022 alone, mostly for security services.
While it’s unclear when he was first retained and the first direct payments to Merritts were federally reported in 2022, KSDK reported that “Merritts’ social media posts show he traveled with Bush on her trips to her first inauguration in January 2021, to New York City’s Ed Sullivan Theater for her appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ and to Central America on a trip with a Congressional delegation.”
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