Cori Bush Under Criminal Investigation For Misusing Federal Funds

Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) (Getty Images)
January 30, 2024

Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) is under criminal investigation for misusing federal and campaign funds to pay for private security.

Bush confirmed Tuesday the Department of Justice is investigating the more than $750,000 her campaign has spent on private security services since 2019. Bush came under fire last year after she married one of her private security guards, Cortney Merritts, who has received at least $74,000 in campaign funds protecting the Squad lawmaker. She has also paid $152,000 to her personal friend, Nathaniel Davis III, for security services. Davis claims to have a host of supernatural abilities, including the power to summon tornadoes at will and make fire appear out of nothing.

"Since before I was sworn into office, I have endured relentless threats to my physical safety and life," Bush said in a statement Tuesday. "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. I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services. Any reporting that I have used federal funds for personal security is simply false."

Washington Free Beacon review of Bush’s office spending shows she has used taxpayer funds for personal security services. She reported two disbursements from her Member Representational Allowance in 2021 for "security services" totaling $1,416.

The Justice Department’s criminal probe into the Squad lawmaker is also homing in on her alleged misuse of her Member Representational Allowance, a fund intended to support the operation of her congressional office, Punchbowl News reported.

Bush’s spending on her private security detail runs counter to her frequent calls to defund the police. But Bush has rejected allegations of hypocrisy from her critics, telling them to "suck it up" because she can’t do her job safely without private security watching her back.

"So if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend $10 more on it, you know what, I get to be here to do the work," Bush told CBS News in 2021. "So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets, because we're trying to save lives."

Rumors that Bush was the target of the Justice Department’s criminal probe swirled in Washington, D.C., after the House Sergeant at Arms announced Monday that federal law enforcement officers had served a grand jury subpoena to the body for documents.

Punchbowl News reporter Max Cohen said Bush declined to talk to him about the investigation Monday evening because she had a toothache.

It’s unclear if Bush’s alleged toothache was a veiled reference to one of her bodyguard's more peculiar powers— Davis claims the ability to make the teeth of his enemies fall out of their heads.

"I’ll take you to the book of Psalms. I’ll show you how to knock a person, make all they teeth fall out of they mouth," Davis explained in a May 2020 Facebook video. "There’s a certain Psalm, you pray that mother 99 times, after a new moon and put that person name in there. And the next time they name come out your mouth they teeth gonna start start falling out. I’ve done it."

Davis says he has had several lifetimes to hone his mystic abilities. He claims he’s 109 trillion years old, the Free Beacon reported.

The self-proclaimed spiritual guru also has a history of advancing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, such as the claim that the Rothschild family secretly rules the world.

Davis demanded the Free Beacon retract its reporting on his anti-Semitic statements last March. He claimed he couldn’t be anti-Semitic because he himself is a member of the Tribe of Issachar, one of the lost tribes of Israel.

"That makes me Hebrew. How can I be anti-Semitic?" Davis asked the Free Beacon, adding "You’re literally dealing with the priesthood, literally."