Saikat Chakrabarti, the controversial man behind the curtains of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rocket ship to stardom, resigned suddenly from his position as AOC’s chief of staff on Friday as news broke that he is under federal investigation for campaign finance fraud. Chakrabarti, who has made his share of enemies in the Democratic Party for his bomb-throwing salvos on Twitter, quit the AOC team along with spokesman Corbin Trent. The latter, however, will join the New York congresswoman’s re-election campaign. Chakrabarti, however, may be headed for quite a bit of legal trouble.
From The New York Post:
The brash Chakrabarti, who masterminded Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and steered her proposed Green New Deal, had caused uproar in the halls of Congress with a series of combative tweets that contributed to a rift between his rookie boss and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“People were not happy that he used his Twitter account to comment about members and the bills that he and his boss oppose,” a senior House Democratic staffer said. “There was a series of colliding and cascading grievances.”
The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.
But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.
The Post’s account of this story is interesting, because there’s almost an unspoken suggestion that Chakrabarti’s “rock the boat” tweets against the Democratic establishment are somehow tied to his legal woes. That would in turn suggest that Democrats are actively using their political influence in Washington to go after a man – and, by extension, a group (Justice Democrats) – they consider a threat to their ongoing political viability. And if they’re doing THAT, it means they’re a lot more frightened of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk than they’re letting on in public.
Very interesting stuff, to say the least. The big political story of the next year will of course be the 2020 election. But the other story – that of the growing fracture between the Democratic establishment and the young socialists who are determined to take over the party – could be just as explosive.