US Representative Cori Bush says Justice Dept probing her security spending

News conference on removal of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratification deadline in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Representative Cori Bush said on Tuesday the Justice Department is probing her campaign's spending on security, adding that she is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Bush, a member of the high-profile group of House progressives nicknamed "The Squad," said in a statement that she had faced threats even before she was sworn into office in January 2021 and had used campaign funds for security. She denied wrongdoing.

"As a rank-and-file member of Congress I am not entitled to personal protection by the House," Bush said in a statement. "I have not used any federal tax dollars for personal security services."

The Justice Department declined to comment.

Bush said the allegations focused on her husband's role on the campaign, adding that he had been a part of her security team due to his experience in the area.

The Federal Elections Commission and the House Ethics Committee are also probing her campaign, Bush said. The Office of Congressional Ethics also conducted a months-long investigation and found no wrongdoing, she said.

The Office of Congressional Ethics declined to provide details about whether it had conducted an investigation.

On Monday, a formal communication was read on the House floor stating that the House Sergeant at Arms had been served with a grand jury subpoena and was complying with it. It did not provide details about the case. The Office of the House Sergeant at Arms did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Bush has spoken of facing economic hardship before her election to office, including being evicted three times and living in her car with her children for a while. In July 2021, she spent a night on the steps of the Capitol to protest the end of a COVID-era freeze on evictions.

In 2023 she brought Michael Brown Sr. as her guest to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. He is the father of Michael Brown, whose 2014 shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer helped give birth to the Black Lives Matter movement.

(Reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Additional reporting by Andrew Goudsward and Richard Cowan in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)