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                                                       Calendar No. 88
116th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                       {     116-473
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                      IN THE MATTER OF ALLEGATIONS

                       RELATING TO REPRESENTATIVE

                             RASHIDA TLAIB

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS












              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]








   August 7, 2020.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed 
                               __________

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                      
99-006                     WASHINGTON : 2020 
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida          KENNY MARCHANT, Texas
  Chairman                             Ranking Member
GRACE MENG, New York                 GEORGE HOLDING, North Carolina
SUSAN WILD, Pennsylvania             JACKIE WALORSKI, Indiana
DEAN PHILLIPS, Minnesota             MICHAEL GUEST, Mississippi
ANTHONY BROWN, Maryland

                              REPORT STAFF

              Thomas A. Rust, Chief Counsel/Staff Director
           Brittney L. Pescatore, Director of Investigations
                 David Arrojo, Counsel to the Chairman
              Chris Donesa, Counsel to the Ranking Member

                      Tanisha R. Wilburn, Counsel
                    Danielle Appleman, Investigator 
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                    
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                                                    August 5, 2020.
Hon. Cheryl L. Johnson,
Clerk, House of Representatives
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Johnson: Pursuant to clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b) of 
Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we 
herewith transmit the attached report, ``In the Matter of 
Allegations Relating to Representative Rashida Tlaib.''
            Sincerely,
                                   Theodore E. Deutch,
                                           Chairman.
                                   Kenny Marchant,
                                           Ranking Member. 
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              

  I. INTRODUCTION.....................................................1
 II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND............................................2
III. HOUSE RULES, LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND OTHER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT...2
 IV. BACKGROUND.......................................................4
      A. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S DECISION TO RECEIVE A SALARY FROM 
          THE CAMPAIGN...........................................     4
      B. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S POST-PRIMARY SALARY PAYMENTS.....     7
      C. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S POST-GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 
          PAYMENTS...............................................     8
      D. RESPONSE TO THE POST-ELECTION PAYMENTS..................    11
  V. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS........................................13
      A. PERSONAL USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS..........................    13
          1. November 16, 2018 Payment...........................    16
          2. December 1, 2018 Payment............................    17
          3. Total Payment Owed by Representative Tlaib to her 
              Campaign...........................................    19
      B. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR DEBTS AND OBLIGATIONS........    20
 VI. CONCLUSION......................................................22
VII. STATEMENT UNDER HOUSE RULE XIII, CLAUSE 3(c)....................23
APPENDIX A: REPORT AND FINDINGS OF THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL 
  ETHICS (REVIEW NO. 19-4114)....................................    24
APPENDIX B: REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S RESPONSE TO THE OFFICE OF 
  CONGRESSIONAL ETHICS REFERRAL..................................   108
APPENDIX C: EXHIBITS TO COMMITTEE REPORT.........................   120









                                                       Calendar No. 88
116th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                       {     116-473

======================================================================



 
 IN THE MATTER OF ALLEGATIONS RELATING TO REPRESENTATIVE RASHIDA TLAIB

                                _______
                                

   August 7, 2020.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

               Mr. Deutch, from the Committee on Ethics, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

    In accordance with House Rule XI, clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b), 
the Committee on Ethics (Committee) hereby submits the 
following Report to the House of Representatives:

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    On August 16, 2019, the Office of Congressional Ethics 
(OCE) forwarded to the Committee a Report and Findings (OCE's 
Referral) regarding Representative Rashida Tlaib. OCE reviewed 
allegations that, Representative Tlaib's campaign committee, 
Rashida Tlaib for Congress (the Campaign), reported campaign 
disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable 
campaign expenditures attributable to a bona fide campaign or 
political purposes.\1\ Specifically, OCE considered whether 
salary payments that Representative Tlaib received after the 
2018 general election, totaling $17,500, were prohibited under 
campaign finance laws and regulations governing the personal 
use of campaign funds. OCE recommended that the Committee 
further review the matter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Report and Findings of the Office of Congressional Ethics 
(Review No. 19-4114) (Appendix A) (hereinafter OCE's Referral).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee, after further reviewing the allegations, has 
determined that the evidence is sufficient to support a 
determination that a portion of the salary payments that 
Representative Tlaib received after the 2018 general election 
was inconsistent with the requirements outlined by the Federal 
Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) and its implementing 
regulations.\2\ The Committee also recognizes, however, that 
Representative Tlaib's violation of the applicable restrictions 
was one of bad timing and not ill intent. Representative Tlaib 
engaged in good faith efforts to comply with the relevant FECA 
requirements. The Committee did not find that she sought to 
unjustly enrich herself by receiving the campaign funds at 
issue. Indeed, during her campaign, Representative Tlaib 
received a conservative amount of campaign funds, well below 
the legal threshold for the maximum amount of salary she was 
eligible to receive; these payments allowed her to forego her 
salary from her full-time employment so that she could fully 
participate in campaign activities. However, because she 
received some of those funds, totaling $10,800, for time 
periods in which she was no longer a congressional candidate, 
those funds were inconsistent with FECA's personal use 
restrictions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\52 U.S.C. Sec.  30101, et. seq; see also 11 C.F.R. Sec.  
113.1(g).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accordingly, the Committee directs Representative Tlaib to 
reimburse her Campaign $10,800 within a year of the date of 
this Report.
    Based on its review, the Committee unanimously voted to 
issue this Report and take no further action in this matter.

                       II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

    On April 15, 2019, OCE undertook a preliminary review of 
this matter. On May 13, 2019, OCE initiated a second-phase 
review of this matter. The Committee received OCE's Referral on 
August 16, 2019. Representative Tlaib submitted a written 
response to OCE's Referral through her attorney on August 29, 
2019.\3\ On September 30, 2019, the Chairman and Ranking Member 
of the Committee issued a statement announcing that they had 
jointly decided to extend the Committee's consideration of 
OCE's Referral regarding Representative Tlaib for an additional 
45-day period.\4\ On November 14, 2019, pursuant to House and 
Committee rules, the Committee publicly released OCE's 
Referral, along with a copy of Representative Tlaib's written 
response.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\See Appendix B.
    \4\House Rule XI, cl. 3(b)(8)(A); Committee Rule 17A(c)(1).
    \5\House Rule XI, cl. 3(b)(8)(A)(i); Committee Rule 17A(c)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee reviewed all the materials provided to it by 
OCE. The Committee also requested and received additional 
information from Representative Tlaib. In total, the Committee 
reviewed more than 600 pages of materials. The Committee also 
interviewed five witnesses, including Representative Tlaib, who 
fully cooperated with the Committee's investigation.
    On July 23, 2020, the Committee unanimously voted to adopt 
this Report and take no further action with respect to 
Representative Tlaib.

  III. HOUSE RULES, LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND OTHER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

    Federal laws and regulations regulate the use of a 
congressional candidate's campaign funds.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\House Ethics Manual (2008) at 152 (hereinafter Ethics Manual).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FECA, and its implementing regulations, states that 
contributions or donations ``received by an individual as 
support for activities of the individual as a holder of Federal 
office'' may not be ``converted by any person to personal 
use.''\7\ The term ``personal use'' is defined as using 
campaign funds ``to fulfill a commitment, obligation, or 
expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the 
candidate's campaign or duties as a Federal officeholder.''\8\ 
In the regulations, an example of a ``personal use'' includes a 
candidate's receipt of salary payments unless certain 
conditions are met.\9\ These conditions require that the salary 
payments:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\52 U.S.C. Sec.  30114(a), (b)(1).
    \8\11 C.F.R. Sec.  113.1(g) (defining the term ``personal use''); 
52 U.S.C. Sec.  30114(b)(2).
    \9\11 C.F.R. Sec.  113.1(g)(1)(i)(I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
           only be paid from the candidate's principal 
        campaign committee;
           not exceed the minimum salary for the 
        Federal office sought and any salary or wages the 
        candidate receives from another source will count 
        towards the limit of the minimum annual salary for the 
        Federal office sought;
           not exceed what the candidate received as 
        earned income in the year prior to becoming a 
        candidate;
           be computed on a pro-rata basis;
           not be paid to an incumbent Federal 
        officeholder;
           not be paid before the filing deadline for 
        access to the primary election ballot for Federal 
        candidates, as determined by State law, and, if the 
        candidate wins the primary election, the salary must be 
        paid through the date of the general election. 
        Alternatively, if the candidate loses the primary 
        election, withdraws from the race, or otherwise ceases 
        to be a candidate, salary payments cannot be made 
        beyond that date; and
           the candidate must provide income tax 
        records from the relevant years and other evidence of 
        earned income upon request of the FEC.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Id. Sec.  113.1(g)(1)(i)(I) (describing the seven requirements 
for a candidate's receipt of salary payments from a campaign 
committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to restrictions on the use of campaign funds, 
FECA requires that candidates report certain information to the 
FEC describing the use of the funds.\11\ These reporting 
requirements include, for example, reporting whether the 
campaign committee has any outstanding debts or 
obligations.\12\ A debt or obligation can include ``a loan, 
written contract, written promise, or written agreement to make 
an expenditure'' as well as ``rent, salary or other regularly 
reoccurring administrative expense.''\13\ With regard to 
reporting a candidate's salary, the FEC has emphasized that 
because the salary ``will be fully disclosed to the public, 
those who contribute to the campaign and who support the 
candidate will be able to voice their approval, or disapproval 
of this use of campaign funds.''\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\See 52 U.S.C. Sec.  30104(a)(2) (explaining the reporting 
requirements for a House candidate's principal campaign committee); see 
also 11 C.F.R. Sec.  104.1 (defining the scope of the reporting 
requirements).
    \12\See id. Sec.  30104(b)(8) (requiring the disclosure of ``the 
amount and nature of outstanding debts and obligations owed by or to 
such political committee''); see also 11 C.F.R. Sec.  104.11(a), (b) 
(explaining the reporting requirements for debts and obligations).
    \13\ 11 C.F.R. Sec.  104.11(b).
    \14\Disclaimers, Fraudulent Solicitation, Civil Penalties, and 
Personal Use of Campaign Funds; 67 Fed. Reg. 76962, 76972 73 (Dec. 13, 
2002) (to be codified at 11 C.F.R. pt. 113).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The personal use of campaign funds may also implicate the 
Code of Official Conduct. Specifically, House Rule XXIII, 
clauses 1 and 2 state that ``[a] Member . . . of the House 
shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect 
creditably on the House[,]'' and ``shall adhere to the spirit 
and the letter of the Rules of the House.''
    Finally, the House Code of Official Conduct subjects 
Members to additional restrictions relating to the personal use 
of campaign funds.\15\ The Ethics Manual explains that 
``campaign funds are to be used for bona fide campaign or 
political activity only . . . not to . . . enhance a Member's 
lifestyle, or to pay a Member's personal obligations.''\16\ The 
Ethics Manual acknowledges, however, that ``Members have wide 
discretion in determining what constitutes a bona fide campaign 
or political purpose to which campaign funds and resources may 
be devoted.''\17\ Nonetheless, the Ethics Manual cautions that 
``Members have no discretion whatsoever to convert campaign 
funds to personal use.''\18\ Moreover, the Ethics Manual 
advises that a ``Member's use of campaign funds for federal 
office is permissible only if it complies with the provisions 
of both the House Rules and FECA.''\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\House Rule XXIII, cl. 6(a)-(c).
    \16\Ethics Manual at 173 (emphasis in original).
    \17\Id.
    \18\Id. (emphasis in original).
    \19\Id. at 152 (emphasis in original).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             IV. BACKGROUND

    On February 5, 2018, Representative Tlaib registered her 
principal campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress (the 
Campaign), with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).\20\ On 
February 6, 2018, Representative Tlaib announced her candidacy 
for Michigan's 13th congressional district election.\21\ At the 
time she announced her candidacy, Representative Tlaib worked 
as the Community Partnerships Director at the Maurice and Jane 
Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice (Sugar Law 
Center).\22\ In 2017, a year prior to her congressional 
campaign, Representative Tlaib's total income was $129,357--she 
earned $42,500 from her full-time employment with the Sugar Law 
Center, she received a $85,307 stipend from a fellowship, and 
she also received $1,500 from consulting arrangements with two 
organizations.\23\
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    \20\Rashida Tlaib for Congress, Statement of Organization (Feb 5, 
2018).
    \21\Todd Spangler, Former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib to seek 
Conyers' seat in Congress, Detroit Free Press, (Feb. 6, 2018), https://
www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/02/06/rashida-tlaib-
running-congress-conyers-seat/310378002/.
    \22\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \23\See Exhibit 1; see also 18(a) Interview of Representative 
Rashida Tlaib.
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    A. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S DECISION TO RECEIVE A SALARY FROM THE 
                                CAMPAIGN

    Shortly after announcing her candidacy, Representative 
Tlaib began performing campaign work full-time in March 2018, 
thereby significantly reducing her hours and income from her 
employment with the Sugar Law Center.\24\ Ultimately, given the 
intensity of her campaign schedule, starting in May 2018, 
Representative Tlaib only worked for the Sugar Law Center on an 
as-needed basis; approximately seven hours per week.\25\ 
Additionally, in comparison to the prior year, in 2018, 
Representative Tlaib did not receive a stipend from her 
fellowship, and only received a small amount of income for her 
consulting work.\26\ As a result, shortly after reducing her 
hours with the Sugar Law Center, Representative Tlaib 
``realized [that she] was going to have some issues paying 
[her] bills.''\27\ Thus, on April 4, 2018, she informed her 
campaign managers, Campaign Staffer A and Campaign Staffer B, 
that she was experiencing personal financial difficulties and 
asked about receiving a one-time, $5,000 loan from the 
Campaign.\28\ Representative Tlaib testified that she only 
sought $5,000 at that time because she ``wanted to be 
conservative'' and because she ``didn't know if [the Campaign] 
had the money'' to pay her.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \25\Id.; see also Exhibit 1 (reporting that Representative Tlaib 
began a ``limited leave of absence'' from her position with the Sugar 
Law Center in May 2018, which reduced her compensation to 7.2 hours per 
week).
    \26\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib; see also 
Exhibit 1.
    \27\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \28\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 2.
    \29\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to Representative Tlaib's request for funds 
from the Campaign, her campaign managers told her that they 
wanted to seek legal guidance to determine what was permissible 
under the law before taking action.\30\ A few weeks after her 
initial email, on April 27, 2018, Representative Tlaib reached 
out to her campaign staff and indicated that she was ``not 
going to make it through the campaign without a stipend'' and 
requested ``$2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000'' 
from the Campaign.\31\ Representative Tlaib testified that she 
requested this amount because she was ``thinking of how much . 
. . [she] need[ed] to be able to pay for childcare . . . [her] 
bills, [her] mortgage and [her] rent.''\32\ She also testified 
that she increased her request from a one-time payment of 
$5,000 because she was ``more in debt by that time'' and 
because she thought the new amount would get her through the 
primary election.\33\
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    \30\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 2; see also 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer A.
    \31\OCE's Referral, Exhibit 3.
    \32\See 18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \33\See id.
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    On April 27, 2018, the same day that Representative Tlaib 
proposed the $2,000 bimonthly stipend, Campaign Staffer B 
received legal guidance confirming that the use of campaign 
funds to pay a candidate a salary is permissible subject to 
certain conditions.\34\ Even if legally permissible, however, 
both Campaign Staffer B and Campaign Staffer A had concerns 
about the political risks associated with Representative 
Tlaib's receipt of a campaign salary.\35\ Campaign Staffer A 
testified that there were concerns that she would be exposed to 
political attacks because receiving a salary from a campaign is 
still viewed as ``a somewhat uncommon thing.''\36\ Notably, the 
legal guidance regarding the campaign salary was not 
immediately conveyed to Representative Tlaib by campaign 
staff.\37\ As a result, on May 7, 2018, she informed her 
campaign staff that if she could not receive funding from the 
Campaign, she would need to return to the Sugar Law Center to 
work part-time.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\See Exhibit 2; see also 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A 
(stating that the campaign committee did not issue Representative Tlaib 
any salary payments before hearing back from their attorney).
    \35\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 4 (Email from Campaign Staffer B to 
Campaign Staffer A suggesting that Representative Tlaib's receipt of a 
campaign salary ``ha[d] the potential to be a bad story.'').
    \36\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A.
    \37\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib (stating that 
her campaign staffers ``took a while to respond to [her] . . . every 
time [she] brought . . . up'' the salary issue).
    \38\See Exhibit 3.
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    In response to the urgency of Representative Tlaib's 
request, Campaign Staffer A advised her that ``[t]he campaign 
can pay [her] no more than [what she] made in income [in 2017] 
on a monthly basis. [W]e just accept that it may become a 
political issue.''\39\ He also advised her that she would have 
to make the decision to accept salary payments from the 
Campaign and that she could receive approximately $7,900 per 
month.\40\ Campaign Staffer A testified that at the time he 
advised Representative Tlaib that she could receive $7,900 per 
month in salary, it was based on his own calculations ``by 
taking her income from the previous year and dividing it by 
12''; he acknowledged, however, that it was ``an erroneous 
calculation.''\41\ Indeed, based on the May 2018 Financial 
Disclosure Statement that Representative Tlaib filed a few 
months after declaring her candidacy, her 2017 monthly income 
was approximately $9,300 per month.\42\ Subsequently, after 
receiving updated financial information, Representative Tlaib 
filed an Amended Financial Disclosure Statement in December 
2018, which clarified that she had actually received 
approximately $10,700 per month in 2017.\43\
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    \39\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 1.
    \40\Id. See also 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A.
    \41\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A.
    \42\See Exhibit 4.
    \43\See Exhibit 1.
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    Representative Tlaib testified that she does not know how 
Campaign Staffer A made the $7,900 per month salary 
determination.\44\ Ultimately, however, she chose to receive 
$4,000 per month because she ``was trying to be as conservative 
as possible'' and because she wanted to stay within the 
Campaign's budget.\45\ Therefore, on May 7, 2018, Campaign 
Staffer C, the campaign treasurer at the time, issued 
Representative Tlaib her first salary payment for $2,000.\46\ 
Thereafter, Representative Tlaib received bimonthly $2,000 
payments throughout the primary season during the same pay 
periods as the other campaign staffers.\47\ Representative 
Tlaib did not enter into a contract or written agreement with 
the Campaign regarding the terms of her receipt of the salary 
payments.\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \45\Id.
    \46\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
    \47\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \48\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Representative Rashida Tlaib.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In July 2018, a few months after Representative Tlaib began 
receiving the salary payments, the press began to report on the 
payments.\49\ Campaign Staffer A testified that the Campaign 
viewed the press reporting on the payments as ``distressing'' 
and ``disappoint[ing].''\50\ In response to the reporting, the 
Campaign emphasized that Representative Tlaib's payments were 
far less than what she was entitled to receive under applicable 
FEC rules.\51\ The Campaign was also able to ``fundraise[] 
off'' of the attention it received because of the payments.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\See Exhibit 5 (Email from Rashida Tlaib to Campaign Staffer F, 
Campaign Staffer A, and Campaign Staffer B, telling them a reporter 
``called to ask why [she] [was] paying [her]self].''). The campaign 
committee initially disclosed the salary payments a few weeks before 
the August 7 primary election. See, e.g., Rashida Tlaib for Congress, 
July 2018 Quarterly Report of Receipts and Disbursements, at 298 99 
(July 15, 2018) (reporting Representative Tlaib's salary payments 
issued on May 7, May 16, June 1, and June 16, 2018). A press report 
about the payments was published just three days after the July 2018 
Quarterly Report. See Melissa Nann Burke and Beth LeBlanc, U.S. House 
hopeful Tlaib pays self salary from campaign funds, The Detroit News 
(July 18, 2018), https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2018/
07/18/tlaib-pays-self-salary-congress-campaign/797307002/ (hereinafter 
Detroit News Article).
    \50\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A.
    \51\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A; see also 
Detroit News Article (quoting the Campaign's spokesman as stating that 
Representative Tlaib ``is actually entitled to `far more' under FEC 
guidelines than the $4,000 a month she has elected to pay herself 
during the campaign'').
    \52\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
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         B. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S POST-PRIMARY SALARY PAYMENTS

    On August 23, 2018, a few weeks after she won her August 
7th primary election, Representative Tlaib asked Campaign 
Staffer A and her campaign finance director, Campaign Staffer 
D, to confirm whether she could continue to receive the salary 
payments.\53\ The staffers confirmed that the Campaign could 
afford to continue the payments, but also advised her that she 
may receive political attacks and negative press reporting if 
she did so--similar to the reaction she had received when the 
Campaign reported the payments before the primary.\54\ Campaign 
Staffer D also advised Representative Tlaib about the political 
risks associated with returning to work at the Sugar Law Center 
part-time while still being paid by the Campaign.\55\ 
Ultimately, Representative Tlaib decided not to return to work 
after the primary election as she had previously planned 
because of her unrelenting campaign schedule.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 7.
    \54\See id.; see also 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A.
    \55\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 7.
    \56\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Around the same time that Representative Tlaib reached out 
to Campaign Staffer A and Campaign Staffer D to confirm the 
continuation of her salary payments, she asked Campaign Staffer 
C to create a budget for the campaign staff's salaries for the 
general election.\57\ Campaign Staffer C's budget included a 
proposal to increase Representative Tlaib's salary payments 
from $4,000 to $6,000 per month.\58\ Campaign Staffer C told 
the Committee she does not recall whether Representative Tlaib 
specifically requested a salary increase at that time; she also 
said she does not remember why she suggested $6,000 as the 
proposal or Representative Tlaib's reaction to the 
proposal.\59\ According to Campaign Staffer C, she only recalls 
that she was aware that Representative Tlaib ``was having 
trouble making her ends meet [and] covering all of her expenses 
with the $2,000 bi[monthly] amount, [so she] bumped [the 
amount] up.''\60\ Representative Tlaib confirmed that she 
received Campaign Staffer C's budget, but was not familiar with 
the $6,000 per month proposal.\61\ Additionally, although they 
were included in Campaign Staffer C's communications regarding 
the budget proposal, Campaign Staffer A and Campaign Staffer D 
testified that they did not have any knowledge of the 
proposal.\62\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\Id.
    \58\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
    \59\Id.
    \60\Id.
    \61\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \62\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer D.
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    Increasing the amount of Representative Tlaib's salary 
payments was an ongoing discussion among senior campaign staff 
during the campaign. For example, Campaign Staffer E, who 
served as the Campaign treasurer from early May 2018 to 
approximately March 2019,\63\ and Campaign Staffer D testified 
that they recall Representative Tlaib requesting to be paid 
more during the 2018 election cycle.\64\ Representative Tlaib 
told the Committee that she does not recall requesting an 
increase in salary payments; she only remembers discussing the 
continuation of the payments after the primary election because 
of the amount of campaign work she performed.\65\ Ultimately, 
Representative Tlaib's salary remained at $4,000 per month 
through the general election.\66\
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    \63\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E (confirming that May 
2, 2018 corresponds with the time that he became treasurer for the 
Campaign); see id. (confirming that the Campaign offered the treasurer 
position to Sonya McGrady in March 2019, but that he worked in a 
transitional capacity for a few months after that time). Campaign 
Staffer E has returned to his role as the Campaign's treasurer as of 
April 2020. See Rashida Tlaib for Congress, Statement of Organization, 
at 1 (Apr. 22, 2020) (listing Campaign Staffer E as treasurer).
    \64\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E (stating that 
Representative Tlaib mentioned several times ``half-jokingly'' that she 
wanted to be paid more by the campaign committee); 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer D (indicating that Representative Tlaib may have asked 
for an increase in her salary before or after the primary election 
because she had ``some financial hardships''); see also 18(a) Interview 
of Campaign Staffer A (stating that increasing Representative Tlaib's 
salary payments was ``something that frequently [the campaign 
committee] wanted to do for her'').
    \65\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \66\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 10. Representative Tlaib received 
two $3,000 payments in August 2018 to account for three-week pay 
periods. See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When asked why Representative Tlaib did not receive a 
salary increase despite her requests, Campaign Staffer D 
indicated that it would have been Representative Tlaib's 
decision not to increase her salary.\67\ He also testified that 
the decision could have been motivated by several factors such 
as ensuring that the Campaign had sufficient resources for the 
election and the ``potential for political attacks'' from her 
opponents.\68\ According to Campaign Staffer D, there were also 
discussions among senior campaign staff about ``delaying 
[Representative Tlaib's salary] payment[s] until after [a FEC] 
deadline'' because she had received criticism in the press, and 
from her opponents, after the payments had been reported in the 
Campaign's July 2018 FEC filings.\69\ As a result, campaign 
resources and political considerations may have impacted the 
decision about whether and when to increase Representative 
Tlaib's salary payments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D; see also 18(a) Interview 
of Campaign Staffer E (stating that in response to Representative 
Tlaib's request for a salary increase, she spoke to Campaign Staffer A 
and Campaign Staffer B, but they indicated that the payments should 
remain the same).
    \68\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
    \69\Id.; see also 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating 
that ``we did, in fact, receive the political attacks we were worried 
about in the primary'' because of the salary payments and that he 
advised Representative Tlaib she would likely receive political attacks 
again if she continued receiving a salary after the primary, but noting 
that the payments did not have to be publicly disclosed until the 
campaign committee filed its October 2018 Quarterly Report).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   C. REPRESENTATIVE TLAIB'S POST-GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN PAYMENTS

    Representative Tlaib won her general election on November 
6, 2018.\70\ Within days of her election, Campaign Staffer E 
issued her a $2,000 payment on November 16, 2018 (the same date 
on which he issued paychecks to other campaign staff for the 
November 1, 2018 to November 15, 2018 pay period).\71\ Campaign 
Staffer E testified that it was his understanding, based on 
communications with Campaign Staffer A, that Representative 
Tlaib would only be paid a salary through election day.\72\ 
However, because he did not issue any salary payments on 
election day, Representative Tlaib's November 16 payment 
represented the amount owed to her ``only up to the point of 
the election day.''\73\ Representative Tlaib has asserted, 
through counsel, that the November 16 payment ``make[s] up some 
of the difference between what she was entitled to receive for 
her service through Election Day . . . and what the Campaign 
had previously paid her for services rendered through that 
date'' and that it ``cover[s] the period through the November 6 
general election.''\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\See Todd Spangler and Kat Stafford, Rashida Tlaib becomes John 
Conyers' full-term replacement in Congress, Detroit Free Press (Nov. 6, 
2018), https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/06/
michigan-13-th-district-results-tlaib-jones/1737484002/.
    \71\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 10.
    \72\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \73\Id.
    \74\Appendix B at 3, 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When Committee staff asked Campaign Staffer E to explain 
why the November 16 payment was not prorated to reflect a 
shorter pay period--e.g., a pay period from November 1 to 
November 6--he speculated that it was because Representative 
Tlaib was working on election day.\75\ Contemporaneous campaign 
records show, however, that the November 16 payment was a 
salary payment meant to cover the pay period from November 1 to 
November 15.\76\ Indeed, a notation on the check states 
``salary (11/1-11/15)'' on the memo line.\77\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \76\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 9.
    \77\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 21, 2018, Campaign Staffer E sent Campaign 
Staffer D a spreadsheet he created that included ``the list of 
[campaign] staff with projected amounts to be paid [to them] on 
12/1/2018.''\78\ The spreadsheet has been recreated below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \78\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 12.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    Based on Campaign Staffer E's projections in the 
spreadsheet, Representative Tlaib was supposed to receive 
$2,000 as the ``[a]mount owed through Nov. 30, 2018''; $6,000 
as the ``[a]mount owed for the month of December''; and $7,500 
as an ``adjustment to be made for the previous payments.''\79\ 
Consistent with these projections, Representative Tlaib's 
December 1, 2018, payment would total $15,500.\80\ Campaign 
Staffer E testified that the information in the spreadsheet 
``most likely'' came from Campaign Staffer D.\81\ However, 
Campaign Staffer D indicated that his involvement with the 
spreadsheet was limited to ensuring that the amounts he was 
owed by the Campaign were accurate.\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\See id.
    \80\See id.
    \81\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E; see, e.g., id. 
(testifying that Campaign Staffer D had input regarding ``how to 
calculate the back payment amount, but not the specifics,'' so it was 
``possible'' that he provided the calculation for the adjustment 
amount--$7,500).
    \82\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When questioned by Committee staff to explain how he 
determined the amounts that corresponded to Representative 
Tlaib, Campaign Staffer E testified that he ``probably 
start[ed] the calculation with [the $15,500 amount and] . . . 
[t]hen . . . allocated that amount into the budget lines.''\83\ 
Campaign Staffer E indicated, however, that he does not know 
the origin of the $15,500 amount.\84\ He also stated that even 
though the calculation listed under the ``Notes'' column in the 
spreadsheet--``$2,000/mo for 3.75 mo.''--adds up to the $7,500 
amount under the ``Adjustment'' column, he does not know the 
origin of the $7,500 amount either.\85\ Other senior campaign 
staffers--who had experience with the Campaign's finances and 
budget during the campaign--also denied knowledge of the 
origins of the projections listed for Representative Tlaib in 
the spreadsheet.\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E; see id. (stating that 
the $6,000 for the month of December was ``probably th[e] amount [that] 
was left unspent so [he] probably aligned that and balanced it out'').
    \84\Id.
    \85\Id.
    \86\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D; see also 18(a) 
Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Tlaib testified that she has never seen the 
spreadsheet before and is unfamiliar with most of the 
information contained in the spreadsheet.\87\ She also 
testified, however, that she believes that the $2,000 payment 
proposed through the end of November 30 was a continuation of 
the salary payments that she had been receiving.\88\ 
Additionally, she indicated that even though she does not 
recall having any discussions about the $7,500 amount, she 
believes that the ``Adjustment'' column is related to her 
``working full time at a campaign and [the Campaign] pay[ing] 
[her an] additional amount.''\89\ Furthermore, she believes 
that the ``3.75/mo.'' time period referenced in the ``Notes'' 
column was related to the period after the ``primary until 
November . . . [b]ecause [she] kept . . . working up until the 
. . . [general] election.''\90\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \88\Id.
    \89\Id.
    \90\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 1, 2018, Campaign Staffer E issued the $15,500 
payment to Representative Tlaib.\91\ The consensus among senior 
campaign staff interviewed by the Committee, and the 
congresswoman herself, is that at the time this payment was 
made, Representative Tlaib's post-election payments represented 
compensation for work she performed prior to the election.\92\ 
Specifically, all witnesses interviewed by the Committee 
contend that she received less than her legal threshold amount 
with the understanding that she could receive some kind of 
``back pay'' or ``deferred compensation'' at a later date.\93\ 
Representative Tlaib confirmed that she ``remember[s] 
specifically saying [that she] want[ed] to get back pay'' and 
that she wanted to receive additional compensation because she 
had been unable to return to work after the August primary.\94\ 
Thus, the $15,500 payment ``was the adjustment for the work 
[she] did throughout the campaign.''\95\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \91\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 10.
    \92\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E; 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C; Interview of 
Campaign Staffer D; 18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \93\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating that 
the campaign committee was ``paying [Representative Tlaib] less than 
what she was entitled to'' during the campaign so ``the payments in 
November and December were intended to catch up some of what she had 
been owed to the extent [the campaign committee] had funds available to 
pay it''); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (explaining that 
Representative Tlaib was ``entitled to pay herself significantly more 
over the course of the campaign,'' but ``rather than paying herself the 
full amount that she could and should [have received], she was only 
receiving . . . smaller checks to try to limit how much was coming out 
of the campaign so that she could use those resources for other 
things'').
    \94\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \95\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although there is consensus among the witnesses regarding 
the reasoning for the post-general election payments, there is 
a notable lack of consensus regarding when Representative Tlaib 
and the Campaign made the decision to defer the payments. For 
example, some former senior campaign staff testified that they 
did not know when the decision was made, but indicated that it 
was likely made around the time of the general election.\96\ In 
contrast, other former senior campaign staff, such as Campaign 
Staffer D and Representative Tlaib, indicated that the post-
general election payments were an ongoing discussion that 
started around the time of the primary election.\97\ Indeed, 
according to Campaign Staffer D, one of the reasons that 
Representative Tlaib decided to defer additional compensation 
after the primary was because she had a write-in challenger in 
the general election campaign and needed to dedicate the 
Campaign's resources to that effort.\98\ Thus, it is unclear 
when Representative Tlaib entered into an agreement to receive 
``back pay'' or ``deferred compensation'' from the Campaign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating that 
he does not know when the campaign committee made the decision to pay 
Representative Tlaib for work she performed prior to the election, but 
that he believes the decision was made after the election); 18(a) 
Interview of Campaign Staffer E (indicating that he learned about the 
nature of the December 1 payment from Campaign Staffer A in November).
    \97\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (indicating 
that there were ongoing discussions about deferring Representative 
Tlaib's salary payments and that these discussions took place around 
the primary election); 18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib 
(testifying that she remembers having discussions regarding ``back 
pay'' after the primary election and before the general election).
    \98\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

               D. RESPONSE TO THE POST-ELECTION PAYMENTS

    The Campaign filed FEC reports disclosing Representative 
Tlaib's post-general election payments in early December 2018 
and late January 2019.\99\ Beginning in March 2019, various 
news reports raised allegations that the timing of the payments 
may be inconsistent with FEC requirements.\100\ Shortly 
thereafter, Campaign Staffer E created a chart ``in response to 
how Congresswoman Tlaib's payments were distributed''; the 
chart provides a ``breakdown of [the] payments [issued] to 
Representative Tlaib'' during the campaign.\101\ The chart has 
been reproduced below.\102\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \99\See Rashida Tlaib for Congress, 2018 30-Day Post-General Report 
of Receipts and Disbursements, at 90 (Dec. 5, 2018); Rashida Tlaib for 
Congress, 2018 Year-End Report of Receipts and Disbursements, at 32 
(Jan. 21, 2019).
    \100\See, e.g., Joe Schoffstall, Rashida Tlaib Paid Herself $45,550 
From Campaign Funds: Made $17,550 in payments following election, 
Washington Free Beacon (Mar. 1, 2019), https://freebeacon.com/politics/
rashida-tlaib-paid-herself-45500-from-campaign-funds/ (emphasizing the 
timing of the two payments and quoting from FEC regulations explaining 
the permissible time period to receive a salary from a campaign 
committee); Lukas Mikelionis, Rashida Tlaib's campaign paid her $17,500 
in salary after Election Day, in possible violation of FEC rules: 
report, Fox News (Mar. 2, 2019), https://www.foxnews.com/politics/
rashida-tlaib-faces-questions-after-data-shows-campaign-paid-her-17500-
salary-in-two-weeks-after-election-day (questioning whether 
Representative Tlaib's ``campaign broke the rules after making salary 
payments to [her] after Election Day [in 2018]'').
    \101\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E; see id. (stating that 
he believes that the chart was created in 2019); 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer A (stating that Campaign Staffer E created the chart 
at the direction of the Campaign's attorney).
    \102\Exhibit 6. The original chart included three dates with the 
year 2019; Campaign Staffer E acknowledged that this was an error and 
that the years for these dates should be 2018. See 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer E.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Pay Period                                        Salary
                Pay Period Starts                      Ends           Paid On       Amount Paid      Deferred
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  ..............        5/7/2018       $2,000.00              $-
4/24/2019.......................................       4/30/2019       5/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
5/1/2019........................................       5/15/2018        6/1/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
5/16/2018.......................................       5/31/2018       6/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
6/1/2018........................................       6/15/2018        7/1/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
6/16/2018.......................................       6/30/2018       7/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
7/1/2018........................................       7/15/2018        8/1/2018       $2,000.00       $1,000.00
7/16/2018.......................................        8/7/2018       8/11/2018       $3,000.00       $1,500.00
8/8/2018........................................       8/31/2018       8/29/2018       $3,000.00       $1,500.00
9/1/2018........................................       9/15/2018       9/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,300.00
9/16/2018.......................................       9/30/2018       10/1/2018       $2,000.00       $1,300.00
10/1/2018.......................................      10/15/2018      10/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,300.00
10/16/2018......................................      10/31/2018       11/1/2018       $2,000.00       $1,300.00
11/1/2018.......................................       11/6/2018      11/16/2018       $2,000.00       $1,300.00
                                                  ..............       12/1/2018      $15,500.00
                                                  ..............  ..............      $45,500.00      $15,500.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some of the information Campaign Staffer E included in this 
chart is inconsistent with contemporaneous campaign 
records.\103\ The most notable difference, however, is the 
inclusion of the various ``salary deferred'' amounts; no other 
campaign documents reference this information.\104\ Campaign 
Staffer E explained that the phrase ``salary deferred'' means 
``[b]ack pay or [the] amount that [Representative Tlaib] was 
supposed to get that she didn't get paid.''\105\ He also 
indicated that the ``salary deferred'' amounts ``tall[y] up to 
[$15,500] for the payment for December 1st.''\106\ When 
questioned by Committee staff about the source of the ``salary 
deferred'' amounts, Campaign Staffer E testified that he did 
not ``recall the specifics'' but that the amounts were probably 
given to him by either Campaign Staffer A or Campaign Staffer 
D.\107\ Both former campaign staffers, however, denied 
knowledge about the source of the amounts, as did Campaign 
Staffer C.\108\ Representative Tlaib also denied knowledge 
about the source of the amounts, but testified that she recalls 
discussing a back pay proposal involving ``an additional maybe 
thousand or so every paycheck.''\109\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \103\For example, a spreadsheet that Campaign Staffer E updated 
during the campaign listed ``4/16-4/30'' for Representative Tlaib's May 
16 payment in comparison to the ``4/24-4/30'' pay period included in 
the chart above. See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 9. The same spreadsheet 
listed ``11/1-11/15'' for Representative Tlaib's November 16 payment in 
comparison to the ``11/1-11/6'' pay period included in the chart above. 
See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 9. Campaign Staffer E could not adequately 
explain these discrepancies. See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \104\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \105\Id.
    \106\Id.
    \107\Id.
    \108\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating that the 
``salary deferred'' column ``was how [Campaign Staffer E] was 
calculating the adjustment that had been made'' for Representative 
Tlaib, but also confirming that he did not ``have input'' for the 
information in the column); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D 
(stating that he does not know where the salary deferred amounts came 
from and did not have any input into the amounts); 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer C.
    \109\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Campaign Staffer E acknowledged that the ``salary 
deferred'' payments could have been considered a debt owed by 
the Campaign during the election cycle, and thus may have been 
required to be reported as such in FEC filings, but that he did 
not do so because he ``wasn't aware of the back payment'' 
during the campaign.\110\ Campaign Staffer D and Campaign 
Staffer C were not aware of any discussions among the 
Campaign's staff about reporting the deferred payments as 
debt.\111\ Campaign Staffer D stated, however, that he 
understood during the campaign that Representative Tlaib's 
deferred payments were ``funding that she was owed and entitled 
to, that . . . [the Campaign] would be paying her to the extent 
money could be raised after the general to . . . cover 
that.''\112\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \111\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D; 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer C.
    \112\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D; see 11 C.F.R. Sec.  
110.1(b)(3)(iii)(B) (stating that a candidate and his or her campaign 
committee may accept contributions made after the date of the election 
if the contributions do not exceed amounts sufficient to retire any 
remaining debt); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (confirming that 
``[a]fter the general election, the committee can raise money to pay 
off a debt'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      V. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

    As a candidate, Representative Tlaib had an obligation to 
act in accordance with the strict technical requirements of 
federal campaign laws and regulations, including the 
restrictions on personal use of campaign funds; as a Member-
elect, Representative Tlaib was also on notice of her 
responsibility to act in a manner consistent with the more 
general ethical standards of the House.\113\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \113\The Committee has jurisdiction to investigate the conduct of 
Members, officers, and employees of the House of Representatives. The 
Committee has long found that its jurisdiction also includes the 
conduct of a Member in connection with his or her successful election 
because the conduct may impact the integrity of the House. See House 
Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative 
Jay Kim, H. Rept. 105-797, 105th Cong. 2d Sess. (1998); House Comm. on 
Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Earl F. 
Hilliard, H. Rept. 107-130, 107th Cong. 1st Sess. (2001); Statement of 
the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding 
Representative Michael Grimm (Nov. 26, 2012); Comm. on Ethics, In the 
Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Ruben Kihuen, H. Rept. 
115-1041, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. (2018). The allegations against 
Representative Tlaib involve conduct that occurred in connection with 
her successful election to the House, during the time she was a Member-
elect of Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   A. PERSONAL USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS

    The FEC's personal use regulations restrict the time period 
in which a candidate can receive a salary from his or her 
principal campaign committee.\114\ The regulations state that 
``[i]f the candidate wins the primary election, his or her 
principal campaign committee may pay him or her a salary from 
campaign funds through the date of the general election.''\115\ 
The regulations reiterate, however, that ``[i]f the candidate . 
. . ceases to be a candidate, no salary payments may be paid 
beyond the date he or she is no longer a candidate.''\116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \114\See 11 C.F.R. Sec.  113.1(g)(1)(i)(I).
    \115\Id.
    \116\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The FEC has provided some analysis of the candidate salary 
regulations in its enforcement cases, known as Matters Under 
Review (MURs), which are handled by the Office of General 
Counsel.\117\ For example, in Mowrer for Iowa, et al. (MUR 
7068), a candidate received two salary payments from his 
campaign committee after the date of his general election on 
November 4, 2014--a payment on November 15 covering the period 
from November 1 to November 15 and a payment on December 5 
covering the period from November 16 to November 30.\118\ The 
Respondents in the matter disputed that the payments violated 
the personal use restrictions by asserting that ``the 
regulations are not clear as to whether the pay periods must 
fall within the regulations' window or whether the window is 
used merely for calculating the permissible salary 
amount.''\119\ The Acting General Counsel, however, noted that 
``[t]he controlling factor . . . is that some of the salary 
payments covered the period after [the candidate] ceased to be 
a candidate, and were thus impermissible.''\120\ As a result, 
the FEC ultimately concluded that the Respondents violated the 
personal use restriction to the extent that they used campaign 
funds to make salary payments to the candidate during the 
period in which he was no longer a candidate--i.e., the period 
from November 5 to November 30.\121\ Thus, the time period 
covered by the payment in question is crucial to the analysis 
of whether a candidate's salary is permissible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\Enforcing federal campaign finance law, FEC, https://
www.fec.gov/legal-resources/enforcement/ (``Enforcement cases are 
primarily handled by the Office of General Counsel and are known as 
Matters Under Review (MURs).'').
    \118\See MUR 7068, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 2, 6.
    \119\Id. at 5.
    \120\Id. at 6 (emphasis added).
    \121\MUR 7068, Conciliation Agreement at 3-5; see id. at 3-4 
(determining the portion of the salary that did not violate the 
personal use restriction by calculating the amount ``covering November 
1 through November 4, 2014, the day of the general election, when 
Mowrer was a candidate'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The FEC's MURs have not specifically stated whether 
``deferred compensation'' or ``back pay'' arrangements are 
permissible under the personal use regulation. In Kalyn Free 
for Congress, et al. (MUR 5787), however, the FEC indirectly 
addressed this issue.\122\ In that matter, the campaign 
committee issued two salary payments totaling $50,000 to the 
candidate two months after she lost her primary election and 
reported the payments as a debt to the candidate.\123\ In 
response, the FEC's Reports Analysis Division (RAD) sent a 
Request for Additional Information to the campaign committee, 
noting that salary payments made after the primary election 
constituted personal use of campaign funds and directing the 
campaign committee to seek a full reimbursement from the 
candidate and notify the FEC of the reimbursement.\124\ 
Thereafter, the committee filed a statement explaining that the 
candidate would refund the committee the salary paid to her in 
excess of the maximum amount permitted for the time period 
prior to the primary election.\125\ RAD then requested evidence 
demonstrating that the committee had an obligation to pay the 
candidate a salary before the primary election date.\126\ In 
response, the campaign committee's former campaign manager 
asserted that it was always the committee's intention to pay 
the candidate a salary based on an oral agreement between 
himself and the candidate that took place months before the 
primary election.\127\ The former campaign manager also stated 
that the candidate ``agreed to defer payment of her salary 
until the end of the campaign to ensure that all campaign bills 
and staff were paid.''\128\ Ultimately, RAD referred the matter 
to the Office of General Counsel for additional review.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \122\See generally MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt.; MUR 5787, 
Conciliation Agreement.
    \123\MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 2-3.
    \124\Id. at 3.
    \125\Id. at 3-4.
    \126\Id. at 4.
    \127\Id.
    \128\Id. at 4-5.
    \129\Id. at 4; see generally MUR 5787, Reports Analysis Referral to 
Office of General Counsel (July 19, 2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the First General Counsel's Report for MUR 5787, the 
General Counsel determined that the campaign manager's 
statements were insufficient to resolve the issue, suggesting 
instead that an affidavit from the campaign manager and the 
candidate that ``attest[ed] to the oral agreement'' about the 
deferred compensation would have been more persuasive.\130\ 
Thus, the Office of the General Counsel recommended that the 
FEC find reason to believe that a personal use violation had 
occurred.\131\ The Office also ``recommend[ed] an investigation 
to obtain evidence regarding the [c]ommittee's purported 
agreement to pay a . . . salary'' to the candidate.\132\ The 
FEC found reason to believe the personal use violation occurred 
and authorized an investigation, as recommended. The FEC 
explained its actions in the accompanying Factual and Legal 
Analysis that mirrored the First General Counsel's Report, 
including a discussion of the campaign committee's assertion 
that there was an oral agreement to pay salary to the 
candidate.\133\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 7-8.
    \131\Id. at 2, 8.
    \132\Id. at 2.
    \133\MUR 5787, Notification with Factual and Legal Analysis (Aug. 
9, 2006). The Respondents informed the FEC that they would ``submit the 
requested information and [were] interested in discussing pre-probable 
cause conciliation.'' MUR 5787, Response from Kalyn Free for Congress 
(Aug. 22, 2006). Subsequent filings in the matter do not disclose the 
nature of the information that the Respondents submitted to the FEC. 
Instead, on July 3, 2008, the FEC issued a Third General Counsel's 
Report. See generally MUR 5787, Gen. Counsel's Rpt. #3. Notably, this 
Report cites to a Second General Counsel's Report. Id. at 2. However, 
because the Third General Counsel's Report has been heavily redacted, 
and the Second General Counsel's Report is not publicly available, it 
is unclear if the FEC provided any additional analysis about the 
deferred compensation payment issue based on new information submitted 
by the Respondents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Approximately two years later, the matter was resolved 
through a Conciliation Agreement. In the Conciliation 
Agreement, the FEC noted the campaign committee's assertion 
that there was an oral agreement to pay salary,\134\ and 
without further discussion of the impact of that oral 
agreement, found a personal use violation only with respect to 
the ``overpayment of salary'' to the candidate, which the 
candidate had already reimbursed.\135\ The Conciliation 
Agreement directed the candidate to return certain 
reimbursements that the campaign committee did not adequately 
document but notably did not direct a refund of the salary 
payments that were under the maximum threshold.\136\ Although, 
the FEC's adoption of the Factual and Legal Analysis indicates 
that the existence of an oral agreement to make the payments to 
the candidate before the primary election date was part of the 
FEC's investigation, it is not clear from publicly available 
records whether the FEC obtained additional information 
regarding that agreement during the investigation, nor is it 
clear how the existence of the oral agreement impacted the 
FEC's ultimate resolution of the matter. The absence of a 
direction to refund the entirety of the salary payments, 
however, indicates that the FEC may find a deferred 
compensation or back pay agreement created before a candidate 
ceases to be a candidate to be consistent with the personal use 
regulations' timing restrictions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\See MUR 5787, Conciliation Agreement at 4, 7.
    \135\MUR 5787, Conciliation Agreement at 7; see also MUR 5787, Gen. 
Counsel's Rpt. #3, at 1 (stating that the FEC previously found reason 
to believe that the candidate violated the personal use restriction in 
connection with her receipt of the salary overpayment, but not 
mentioning the post-election timing of the salary overpayment).
    \136\ MUR 5787, Conciliation Agreement at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on the foregoing, the Committee has determined that 
Representative Tlaib's receipt of a portion of the post-general 
election payments violated FECA's personal use restrictions 
because: (1) it represented a salary payment that covered a 
time period after she ceased being a candidate; and (2) it 
represented a deferred compensation payment that covered a time 
period after she ceased being a candidate.

1. November 16, 2018 Payment

    Similar to MUR 7068, a portion of Representative Tlaib's 
November 16 salary payment covered a period after she ceased 
being a candidate. Campaign Staffer E testified that this 
payment represented the amount owed to her ``only up to the 
point of the election day,'' and suggested it was only equal to 
her normal bimonthly payment because she received a larger rate 
for election day that brought her salary to the exact same 
sum.\137\ However, his testimony is inconsistent with 
contemporaneous campaign records that demonstrate that the 
payment covered the full two-week period before and after the 
election--November 1 to November 15.\138\ Notably, however, in 
the chart that Campaign Staffer E created after the general 
election, and after press reports raised allegations about the 
payments, he included a shorter pay period for the November 16 
payment--November 1 to November 6.\139\ This ad hoc 
modification is not enough to rebut other, more reliable 
evidence in the record about the nature of this payment, 
including the memo line of the check itself, which indicates 
the payment was for the entirety of the November 1 to November 
15 pay period. Thus, consistent with the analysis from MUR 
7068, Representative Tlaib is entitled to retain $800 from the 
November 16 payment that covers the time period when she was 
still a candidate--November 1 through November 6.\140\ The 
remaining $1,200 covered the time period when she was no longer 
a candidate--November 7 through November 15--therefore it must 
be returned to the Campaign.\141\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \137\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E. See also Appendix B at 
6 (stating that the November 16 payment covered the period through 
election day).
    \138\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 9; OCE's Referral, Exhibit 10.
    \139\See Exhibit 6.
    \140\To determine the amount that Representative Tlaib was entitled 
to retain, the Committee used the same calculation the FEC used in the 
conciliation agreement for MUR 7068, i.e., the amount of the payment 
($2,000) divided by the number of days the payment covered (15) equals 
the amount that Representative Tlaib received per day for this payment 
($133.33). See MUR 7068, Conciliation Agreement at 3-4. Therefore, if 
Representative Tlaib was entitled to receive a salary for a 6-day 
period, she can retain $800 from the November 16 payment ($133.33 
 6).
    \141\See id. ($2,000-$800 = $1,200).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. December 1, 2018 Payment

    Representative Tlaib and her former senior campaign staff 
have characterized the December 1, 2018, payment of $15,500 as 
``deferred compensation'' or ``back pay'' and have maintained 
that it represents compensation for work she performed during 
the campaign, but chose to defer until after the election to 
ensure that the Campaign had enough resources.\142\ As noted 
above, the FEC has indicated that salary payments received 
after an election may be permissible if they represent 
compensation for a period during the election cycle; however, 
as demonstrated in the FEC's analysis of a similar arrangement, 
the timing of the decision should be considered--specifically, 
whether there was an agreement to make the salary payments 
while Representative Tlaib was still a candidate.\143\ The FEC 
has explicitly rejected the argument that salary payments made 
to a candidate after a general election are permissible so long 
as the total amount of salary paid falls under the maximum 
eligible amount.\144\ To find otherwise would also be contrary 
to the spirit of the regulations; in permitting candidates to 
receive a salary, the FEC noted that its decision was informed 
by the fact that the salaries would be ``fully disclosed to the 
public,'' and therefore, ``those who contribute to the campaign 
and who support the candidate will be able to voice their 
approval, or disapproval, of this use of campaign funds.''\145\ 
If candidates were able to delay payment of salary until after 
an election, without having entered into an agreement to do so 
and thereby creating a reportable obligation, then the 
assurance of transparency underlying the FEC's rulemaking would 
be undermined.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \142\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating that 
the Campaign was ``paying [Representative Tlaib] less than what she was 
entitled to'' during the campaign so ``the payments in November and 
December were intended to catch up some of what [Representative Tlaib] 
had been owed to the extent [the Campaign] had funds available to pay 
it''); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (explaining that 
Representative Tlaib was ``entitled to pay herself significantly more 
over the course of the campaign,'' but ``rather than paying herself the 
full amount that she could and should [have received], she was only 
receiving . . . smaller checks to try to limit how much was coming out 
of the campaign so that she could use those resources for other 
things''); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
    \143\See MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 7-8.
    \144\See MUR 7068, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 6-7.
    \145\Disclaimers, Fraudulent Solicitation, Civil Penalties, and 
Personal Use of Campaign Funds, 67 Fed. Reg. 76962, 76972 73 (Dec. 13, 
2002) (to be codified at 11 C.F.R. 113).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There has been conflicting testimony regarding the timing 
of the decision for Representative Tlaib's deferred 
compensation. Some former senior staffers, such as Campaign 
Staffer E and Campaign Staffer A, testified that they learned 
about the decision around the general election; possibly after 
the election.\146\ Others, such as Campaign Staffer D and 
Representative Tlaib, indicated that they recall discussions 
about the additional compensation around the time of the 
primary election.\147\ Representative Tlaib testified that she 
started asking about ``back pay'' after the primary election 
because she was unable to return to work as she had previously 
planned.\148\ Her interest in receiving additional compensation 
at that time is consistent with Campaign Staffer C's post-
primary budget proposal to increase her monthly salary.\149\ 
Representative Tlaib also confirmed that she had concerns about 
the Campaign's ability to continue to pay her salary after the 
primary election, which supports Campaign Staffer D's testimony 
that she requested that any additional compensation be deferred 
until after the election to ensure that the Campaign had 
sufficient resources.\150\ The Committee credits Representative 
Tlaib's testimony that she made an informal agreement with the 
Campaign to receive ``back pay'' while she was still a 
candidate after the primary election.\151\ Nonetheless, she is 
not entitled to retain the full $15,500 payment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer A (stating that 
he does not know when the Campaign made the decision to pay 
Representative Tlaib for work she performed prior to the election, but 
that he believes the decision was made after the election); 18(a) 
Interview of Campaign Staffer E (indicating that he learned about the 
nature of the December 1 payment from Campaign Staffer A in November).
    \147\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (indicating that there 
were ongoing discussions about deferring Representative Tlaib's salary 
payments and that these discussions took place around the primary 
election); 18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib (testifying 
that she remembers having discussions regarding ``back pay'' after the 
primary election and before the general election).
    \148\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib.
    \149\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C (stating that she 
proposed increasing Representative Tlaib's post-primary salary because 
she was having trouble making ends meet).
    \150\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
    \151\Cf. MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 7-8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former senior campaign staffers testified that they could 
not recall the basis or the origin of the $15,500 payment.\152\ 
According to Campaign Staffer E's November 2018 spreadsheet, 
the payment represented three different amounts that have three 
different purposes--a $2,000 salary payment for the ``amount 
owed through'' November 30, 2018, a $6,000 ``advance'' as the 
``[a]mount owed for the month of December'' 2018, and a $7,500 
``[a]djustment to be made for the previous payments'' to 
Representative Tlaib.\153\ As a result, based on the 
spreadsheet, $8,000 of the December 1 payment represented 
salary payments to Representative Tlaib during a time period in 
which she was no longer a candidate. With regard to the $7,500 
``adjustment'' amount, the notes in the spreadsheet indicate 
that this amount is based on the calculation of $2,000 per 
month for 3.75 months.\154\ Several former senior campaign 
staff and Representative Tlaib also testified that they do not 
know the basis for the adjustment amount, or the calculation, 
but it appears to represent ``back pay'' or ``deferred 
compensation'' for Representative Tlaib starting after the 
August primary election through the November general 
election.\155\ This calculation also seems consistent with 
Representative Tlaib's testimony indicating that she recalls 
having discussions that the back pay amount would be ``an 
additional . . . thousand or so every paycheck'' as well as 
Campaign Staffer C's post-primary budget proposal increasing 
Representative Tlaib's monthly salary by $2,000.\156\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \152\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E; 18(a) 
Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
    \153\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 12.
    \154\See id.
    \155\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (stating that he 
does not know where the $7,500 adjustment amount came from; he does 
know where the ``$2,000 per month for 3.75 months'' calculation came 
from; and that he did not discuss the basis for the calculation with 
Campaign Staffer E); 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C (testifying 
that the $7,500 amount does not have any particular meaning to her and 
does not sound familiar; that she does not know where the $7,500 amount 
came from; and that she does not know where the ``$2,000 per month for 
3.75 months'' calculation came from); 18(a) Interview of Representative 
Rashida Tlaib (stating that she has never seen the spreadsheet before, 
does not know when it was created, and does not know who provided input 
for the spreadsheet); see id. (indicating that she did not have 
discussions with anyone about the $7,500 amount, but she believes that 
the 3.75 month period represents ``the additional money for the work 
[she] did throughout the months'' and that the time period is ``[a]fter 
[the] primary . . . up until the November election''); cf. 18(a) 
Interview of Campaign Staffer E (testifying that the calculation of 
$2,000 per month for 3.75 months ``adds up to that 7,500 adjustment'' 
and speculating that the 3.75 month period represents the time between 
the primary election and the general election, but then stating that he 
does not know where the adjustment amount came from); see id. (stating 
that it is ``possible'' that Campaign Staffer D provided the equation 
for the adjustment amount--$2,000 per month for 3.75--but that he does 
not recall the details).
    \156\18(a) Interview of Representative Rashida Tlaib; see also 
18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer C.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notably, however, the November 2018 spreadsheet reflects a 
different plan than the one Campaign Staffer E created in 
Spring 2019, in which the entirety of the $15,500 December 1 
payment has been spread out as additional $1,000, $1,300, or 
$1,500 ``Salary Deferred'' payments in the pay periods before 
and after the primary election.\157\ The Committee credits the 
November 2018 chart over the later chart for three 
reasons.\158\ First, the Spring 2019 document was created after 
the December 1 payment was made, and after press reports raised 
allegations about the nature of the post-general election 
payments. Second, some of the information in the chart is 
inconsistent with contemporaneous campaign records and appears 
to be ad hoc modifications to address criticisms regarding the 
payments; this includes, for example, the shortened pay period 
for the November 16 payment.\159\ Third, despite creating the 
chart, Campaign Staffer E could not adequately explain the 
basis or the source for the ``Salary Deferred'' amounts.\160\ 
In contrast, Campaign Staffer E's November 2018 spreadsheet 
appears to be a contemporaneous accounting of the Campaign's 
remaining funds after the general election and proposed salary 
and bonus payments for its staffers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \157\See OCE's Referral, Exhibit 12; cf. Exhibit 5.
    \158\The Committee also notes that OCE ``discount[ed] the 
veracity'' of Exhibit 5 based on similar reasons. See OCE's Referral at 
14 n. 43.
    \159\Cf. OCE's Referral, Exhibit 9, 10.
    \160\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on the November 2018 spreadsheet, and other campaign 
records, the Committee has determined that Representative Tlaib 
is entitled to retain $5,900 from the December 1 payment, but 
must reimburse the Campaign $9,600 because this amount of the 
payment violates the personal use restriction.

3. Total Payment Owed by Representative Tlaib to her Campaign

    The chart below demonstrates the breakdown of 
Representative Tlaib's pay periods, base salary, and 
corresponding back pay amounts after her 2018 primary election, 
as found by the Committee's review.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Pay Period
            Pay Period Starts                  Ends               Base Pay             Back Pay/Deferred Salary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8/8/18...................................      8/31/18  $3,000.....................  $1,500
9/1/18...................................      9/15/18  $2,000.....................  $1,000
9/16/18..................................      9/30/18  $2,000.....................  $1,000
10/1/18..................................     10/15/18  $2,000.....................  $1,000
10/16/18.................................     10/31/18  $2,000.....................  $1,000
11/1/18..................................     11/15/18  $2,000 (must repay           $1,000 (must repay
                                                         $1,200)\161\.                $600)\162\
11/16/18.................................     11/30/18  $2,000 (must repay in        $1,000 (must repay in
                                                         full)\163\.                  full)\164\
12/1/18..................................     12/31/18  $6,000 (must repay in        ...........................
                                                         full)\165\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the Committee acknowledges that the post-general 
election payments were far below the amount that Representative 
Tlaib was legally permitted to receive during the course of her 
campaign, because a portion of the payments was inconsistent 
with FECA's personal use requirements, and she received it 
while she was a Member-Elect of Congress, the Committee 
concludes that Representative Tlaib's acceptance of $10,800 
($1,200 from the November 16 payment + $9,600 from the December 
1 payment) in salary and deferred compensation after the 2018 
general election was contrary to the restrictions on personal 
use of campaign funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \161\As noted in the discussion regarding the November 16 payment, 
Representative Tlaib must repay the prorated amount for November 7, 
2018 to November 15, 2018, which is $1,200.
    \162\Representative Tlaib must repay a prorated amount for this 
``back pay/deferred salary'' payment because a portion of the payment 
covers a time period in which she was no longer a candidate. The 
prorated amount is $533.33 ($1,000 payment   15 days = $66.67 per day) 
($66.67  9 days = $600). Representative Tlaib is entitled to 
retain $400.
    \163\Representative Tlaib must repay the full amount of this salary 
payment because it covers a time period in which she was no longer a 
candidate.
    \164\Representative Tlaib must repay the full amount of this back 
pay/deferred salary payment because it covers a time period in which 
she was no longer a candidate.
    \165\Representative Tlaib must repay the full amount of this salary 
payment because it covers a time period in which she was no longer a 
candidate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

          B. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR DEBTS AND OBLIGATIONS

    FEC regulations state that ``[i]f a political committee 
does not pay an employee for services rendered to the . . . 
committee in accordance with an employment contract or a formal 
or informal agreement to do so, the unpaid amount . . . may be 
treated as a debt owed by the political committee to the 
employee.''\166\ If an employee's unpaid salary is treated as a 
debt, ``the political committee shall continue to report the 
debt in accordance with [applicable debt reporting 
requirements] . . . or until the political committee pays the 
debt.''\167\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \166\11 C.F.R. Sec.  116.6(a).
    \167\Id. Sec.  116.6(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The consensus among former senior campaign staff who were 
interviewed by the Committee is that there had not been any 
discussions about reporting the deferred payments as a debt 
owed by the Campaign to Representative Tlaib.\168\ Campaign 
Staffer E, however, acknowledged that the payments could have 
been defined as a debt, and ``in hindsight . . . it would have 
been [a] good practice'' to record it as a debt in the 
Campaign's FEC filings.\169\ Campaign Staffer D also 
acknowledged that during the campaign, he understood that the 
payments were considered ``funding that [Representative Tlaib] 
was owed and entitled to, that . . . [the Campaign] would be 
paying her to the extent money could be raised after the 
general [election].''\170\ Thus, there was some awareness by 
senior campaign staffers, during and after the election, that 
the deferred compensation agreement could be considered a debt 
owed by the Campaign to Representative Tlaib.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \168\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D; 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer C; 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \169\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E.
    \170\18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As discussed above, the FEC has not specifically addressed 
whether a ``back pay'' or ``deferred compensation'' arrangement 
is permissible under the personal use regulation. However, in 
the First General Counsel's Report for MUR 5787, the General 
Counsel determined that there was reason to believe that the 
post-election payments violated certain reporting requirements 
because the campaign committee failed to contemporaneously 
report salary-related debt based on the purported oral 
agreement between the campaign manager and the candidate.\171\ 
The Conciliation Agreement in that matter, however, did not 
address the salary debt reporting issue.\172\ Therefore, it is 
unclear whether such an arrangement must be contemporaneously 
reported as a ``debt'' or ``obligation'' in a campaign 
committee's FEC filings.\173\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \171\MUR 5787, First Gen. Counsel's Rpt. at 8.
    \172\MUR 5787, Conciliation Agreement at 7.
    \173\Cf. FEC Advisory Opinion (AO) Quayle 2000 (AO 2004-27). This 
FEC Advisory Opinion involved a treasurer's ``proposed use of campaign 
funds to reimburse two former employees for unpaid salary dating back'' 
several years. Id. at 1. During the campaign, the employees agreed to 
volunteer their services to help the campaign committee preserve funds 
for the election. Id. at 2. Several years after the election, the 
treasurer sought to pay these employees for their services with 
remaining campaign funds. Id. The FEC concluded that the campaign 
committee was prohibited from using campaign funds to pay the two 
employees because, among other reasons, it failed to timely report the 
unpaid salaries as an outstanding debt or obligation. Id. at 3. As a 
result, because the payments did not apply to one of the other 
permitted uses of contributions, the payments were impermissible. Id. 
at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the lack of a definitive requirement to report a 
``back pay'' or ``deferred compensation'' arrangement to the 
FEC, the Committee agrees with Representative Tlaib's treasurer 
that reporting such an arrangement during Representative 
Tlaib's campaign would have been a ``good practice.''\174\ One 
of the main purposes of the FEC's reporting requirements is to 
facilitate transparency in campaign spending. As discussed 
previously, when explaining its decision to approve the 
candidate salary exception to the personal use restrictions, 
the FEC stated that ``it is satisfied that, because all 
candidate . . . salaries will be fully disclosed to the public, 
those who contribute to the campaign and who support the 
candidate will be able to voice their approval, or disapproval 
of this use of campaign funds.''\175\ Thus, disclosure of any 
agreement for a candidate to receive ``back pay'' or ``deferred 
compensation'' at the end of an election should also be fully 
disclosed during a campaign for the same reason. There is some 
evidence in the record indicating that the senior campaign 
staff's heightened awareness about the political risks 
associated with Representative Tlaib's salary payments may have 
influenced the decision to defer additional compensation, and 
thereby, the disclosure of the additional compensation until 
after the general election.\176\ Such political risks, however, 
are inherent in the process and categorizing salary as ``back 
pay'' cannot be used as an end run around the transparency 
required by campaign finance laws and regulations. The 
Committee urges Representative Tlaib to take care to ensure 
that her Campaign's activities are consistent with that goal of 
transparency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \174\See 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer E (indicating that it 
would have been a ``good practice'' to report the deferred payments as 
debts during the campaign).
    \175\Disclaimers, Fraudulent Solicitation, Civil Penalties, and 
Personal Use of Campaign Funds; 67 Fed. Reg. 76962, 76972-73 (Dec. 13, 
2002) (to be codified at 11 C.F.R. pt. 113).
    \176\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Campaign Staffer D (indicating 
that Representative Tlaib may have decided not to increase her salary 
during the campaign because of past criticism from her political 
opponents); id. (indicating that senior campaign staff had discussions 
about delaying Representative Tlaib's salary payments after the primary 
election to avoid political fallout); see also 18(a) Interview of 
Campaign Staffer A (testifying that he advised Representative Tlaib 
that she would likely receive political attacks again if she continued 
receiving a salary after the primary, but noting that the payments did 
not have to be publicly disclosed until the Campaign filed its October 
2018 Quarterly Report with the FEC).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             VI. CONCLUSION

    A congressional candidacy can be an incredibly expensive 
endeavor that only a few individuals have been able to 
successfully execute. The FEC has attempted to ease some of the 
financial burdens associated with this endeavor for those 
candidates who may not have the resources to forego a salary to 
participate in a campaign, by allowing them to receive a salary 
from campaign funds. Representative Tlaib's 2018 candidacy fit 
within this category--she did not have the resources to 
relinquish her salary from her full-time employment without 
also receiving financial assistance from her Campaign. The 
Committee recognizes Representative Tlaib's good faith efforts 
to comply with FECA's candidate salary requirements, which 
included seeking legal guidance before receiving campaign 
funds. Representative Tlaib also chose to receive a monthly 
salary that was significantly lower than her legal threshold 
amount. Nonetheless, her receipt of payments after the general 
election--though conservative in comparison to her legal 
threshold amount--was inconsistent with certain FECA 
requirements.
    Although the regulations on candidate salary payments are 
complex, they reflect a recognition that such payments create a 
heightened risk of unjust personal enrichment. The Committee 
recommends that all candidates who believe they will use 
campaign funds to pay themselves a salary seek early, and 
ongoing, guidance from the FEC regarding the salary 
requirements. Additionally, to avoid questions about the 
legitimacy of certain payments, such as back pay or deferred 
compensation payments after a primary or general election, the 
Committee recommends that candidates contemporaneously 
memorialize such arrangements to clearly reflect the intent and 
terms of the agreement, and, consistent with the purpose behind 
the FEC's reporting requirements, publicly disclose the 
agreement in the appropriate FEC reports.
    While the Committee recognizes that the campaign 
environment can at times lend itself to hurried decision-
making, as a Member-Elect of Congress, Representative Tlaib had 
a greater duty to ensure that any funding she received from her 
Campaign after her general election was fully compliant with 
statutory requirements and fully transparent with the public. 
Based on its review, the Committee determined that 
Representative Tlaib did not comply with the letter of the 
relevant laws and regulations governing her receipt of salary 
payments from her Campaign. The Committee did not find 
evidence, however, that Representative Tlaib intended to 
unjustly enrich herself, and recognizes that she made efforts 
to ensure her compliance with the applicable requirements. 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 Committee unanimously voted to adopt this Report and 
take no further action. Upon publication of this Report and the 
Committee's receipt of a notification from Representative Tlaib 
of her satisfactory completion of the above steps, the 
Committee will consider this matter closed.

           VII. STATEMENT UNDER HOUSE RULE XIII, CLAUSE 3(c)

    The Committee made no special oversight findings in this 
Report. No budget statement is submitted. No funding is 
authorized by any measure in this Report.




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