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Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday extended its probe into Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Mich.) and released a report from the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics recommending further investigation. 

The OCE in recommending that Ethics extend its probe cited "substantial reason to believe" that she misused campaign funds.

The report focuses on payments received by Tlaib from her campaign after the Nov. 6, 2018, election, but before she assumed her House seat. 

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According to the report, Tlaib received $2,000 on Nov. 16 and $15,500 on Dec. 1. The congresswoman received additional payments totaling $28,000 prior to the election, according to the report.

Under federal campaign finance guidelines, candidates are generally allowed to receive payments from their campaigns, but the payments must be for work performed prior to the election, not after.

Tlaib has denied any misuse of funds, saying in a statement that she "received the minimum salary payments necessary for me to meet my personal financial obligations, while ensuring that the campaign reserved the resources needed to reach voters," The Detroit News reports.

The freshman congresswoman also cited that she had to quit her job as an attorney to run for the Senate and that she's a single mom of two boys.

"I look forward to the Ethics Committee’s prompt resolution of this matter in my favor," Tlaib continued, "and I hope my experience will clear more room for people like me to run for office by availing themselves of FEC innovations that level the playing field, like paying a non-incumbent candidate salary or covering childcare expenses with campaign funds, so that financial privilege is not a prerequisite to participate in our democracy."

Tlaib's attorneys have said that the post-election payments were "to catch up on the salary which she had accrued, but had theretofore been withheld," the paper reports.

The Ethics Committee has five Democrats and five Republicans and is chaired by Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchDemocrats elect Meeks as first Black Foreign Affairs chairman Passing the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act will help protect elderly from criminals Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines MORE (D-Fla.).

CORRECTION: The board of the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended a further investigation of cite. An earlier headline on this story included incorrect information.