Federal officials press GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert over apparent personal use of campaign funds

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Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., attends a news conference outside the Capitol with members of the House Freedom Caucus to discuss the “expulsion of members from the House Republican Conference, on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Federal officials are pressing Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., for answers on the apparent personal use of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

A letter from the Federal Election Commission to the treasurer of Boebert’s 2022 reelection campaign inquired about four Venmo payments totaling more than $6,000.

FEC filings show the payments came between May and June for what’s described on the forms as “personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error.” The filings then note that the “expense has been reimbursed.”

A spokesman for Boebert told CNBC that the personal expenses were already reimbursed but did not say what the payments were for.

“The Venmo charges were personal expenses that were billed to the campaign account in error. The reimbursement has already happened and will appear in the Q3 filing,” Ben Stout, Boebert’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, told CNBC in an email on Wednesday.

The FEC letter also notes that “if it is determined that the disbursement(s) constitutes the personal use of campaign funds, the Commission may consider taking further legal action.”

Campaign watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington flagged the FEC letter on its Twitter account. A separate ethics group filed an FEC complaint against Boebert, requesting an investigation into more than $20,000 worth of mileage reimbursements she received from her 2020 campaign.

Former Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter was initially sentenced to just under a year in prison for the misuse of campaign funds. He was later pardoned by then President Donald Trump.

Boebert has been under scrutiny since she was elected in 2020.

Though she has said she’s not a follower of the conspiracy theory QAnon, multiple reports have linked her to it.

Boebert was one of more than 140 federal Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the election. She said late last year that she planned to join the conservative Freedom Caucus.

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