An independent journalist named Luke Thompson was recently suspended from Twitter when he started asking why the boyfriend of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was listed as “staff” on the House of Representatives website.
Then he did the job the media used to do. He started digging into the story and looking for the truth. What he found will make you raise your eyebrows.
He writes at Medium:
The Congresswoman Loves the Swamp
Last Friday, my mentions died for your sins. I posted a screen grab of Riley Roberts’s House Microsoft Outlook card, including his official house.gov email address, office phone number, and his designation as “Staff”. Roberts is the boyfriend of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Congresswoman was upset.
Throwing caution to the wind, she stormed into my mentions, asserting this was just a way to give Mr. Roberts access to her official calendar.
Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal. Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time.
Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2019
Her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, soon followed, reiterating the calendar claim and accusing me of doxxing Mr. Roberts by posting his publicly available LinkedIn profile (which he deleted) and his official government address and the office phone number.
He started doxxing him. That's a violation of terms in Twitter.
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) February 15, 2019
During my suspension I talked to a Congressional spouse, a few reporters, and some staffers from both parties. AOC hasn’t exactly been winning friends lately, which is how I got Roberts’s Outlook screen grab in the first place. A rumor on the Hill was circulating that Roberts had attended a Congressional Progressive Caucus meeting. A tipster looked to see if he’d been given staff credentials. It appeared he had. All agreed this was irregular if he was just a spouse.
Here’s the key passage:
When AOC won, she then hired Chakrabarti, her strategist/patron, as her Chief of Staff. Taking money from a rich guy, trying to hide it by passing it through a PAC, and then giving her benefactor a government job.
That’s definitely unethical and potentially illegal. Chakrabarti may have made an illegal campaign contribution in excess of federal limits. Regardless, it raises questions about Chakrabarti’s hiring as AOC’s Chief of Staff after her election. Maybe add that to your next lightning round, Congresswoman.
He obviously touched a nerve, because Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about this:
The conspiracy machine is in full effect & it’s been disappointing to watch professionals get duped + amplify unvetted Medium posts as truth, treating journalism like it’s a high school Livejournal rumor mill or something.
No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend. Come on & VET. ⬇️ https://t.co/EY28Elj6aG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019
Luke Thompson responded:
Took you twelve hours to come up with this? https://t.co/6legiEumX3
— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) February 21, 2019