California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the powerful Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security Committees, is facing a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) complaint accusing his campaign of improperly – perhaps even criminally – using funds to pay the congressman’s personal expenses, as Fox News reports.
Conservative watchdog group American Accountability Foundation (AAF) formally lodged the allegations against Swalwell this week on the basis of recent reporting on the ways in which his campaign has spent resources.
According to the complaint, reviewed by Fox News, reports submitted to the FEC by Swalwell’s campaign have revealed “anomalies in campaign expenditures that raise troubling questions as to whether campaign disbursements went towards personal use or to the direct benefit of family members.”
Cited as possible examples of improper disbursements in the complaint were instance in which campaign funds were loaded onto gift cards as well as a Starbucks account, payments of more than $17,000 to a Swalwell family member designated for “childcare,” personal COVID-19 testing, and more.
In noting the substantial amounts of money at issue in the complaint, AAF asserted in its complaint that “Based on its supervisory authority, the FEC should use their investigative ability, including the use of an audit, to examine violations of law by the Swalwell Committee.”
In discussing his group’s newly-filed complaint against the California Democrat, AAF director Matthew Buckham explained, “The American people rightfully expect elected officials to spend their time in Washington serving constituents instead of themselves.”
“We all see through political elites like Eric Swalwell, who think they are above the law to use campaign funds as a private piggy bank for their own personal leisure and entertainment,” Buckham added.
This is not the first time the congressman has faced scrutiny over his campaign’s financial expenditures, with Fox News reporting separately this summer that he spent considerable sums on questionable things such as limousine rides, liquor, and high-end food, also remitting more than $20,000 to the hotel property that employed his wife in an executive sales capacity.
Considering that Swalwell’s personal history reportedly includes time spent involved in an intimate relationship with a Chinese spy, a bit of ill-advised spending on top-shelf booze may seem like small potatoes to some, but it remains crucial to root out corruption on the part of public officials in whatever form it takes, and hopefully this complaint helps facilitate that work.