MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Thursday examined the campaign finance scandals by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and compared it with the corruption practiced by Viktor Orbán, the right-wing authoritarian ruling Hungary.
Hayes described some of the corruption allegations against Orbán, saying it is "a story as old as the time, stuffing his own pockets, one of the oldest grifts, the populist who uses populism as a cover for corruption."
He then pivoted from Hungary to Colorado.
"Take Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado. She owns a restaurant called Shooter's Grill," Hayes said. "She was just elected to Congress in 2020 running on an anti-Covid restrictions platform. Now we have learned that she paid rent and utility bills for her restaurant with campaign funds — which is very much in violation of campaign finance laws."
Hayes noted this was not the first time she'd been caught.
"In February, she paid herself more than $22,000 in mileage reimbursement from her campaign account last year. To justify the reimbursements she would have had to drive 38,712 miles while campaigning, despite while having no publicly advertised campaign events in March, April, July and only one in May," he explained. "Just for context, the equatorial circumference of the earth is 25,000 miles."
For analysis, Hayes interviewed Denver Post columnist Ian Silverii.
"It's not just a mileage reimbursement reimbursement, that's 1 1/2 times the circumference of the earth, $20,000," he said. "Weirdly enough, was the same amount of money her family's restaurant, Shooter's Grill, owed Garfield County for nonpayment of unemployment premiums around the same time. So she gets $20k from her campaign and then pays off a $20,000 lien on her restaurant."
Based on that, the reporter added, "it's no surprise she's using her campaign funds to pay her rent."
"Wait, slow down," Hayes said as he confirmed he had heard it correctly.
"That's really audacious," Hayes concluded.
"Yeah, and this is the thing, Donald Trump committed crimes in broad daylight all the time. He has yet to be held accountable. He's her hero, she figures she can do the same thing," Silverii argued. "So far, despite the fact there's investigations and complaints being filed, she's getting away with it."
He went on to explain how Boebert refuses to talk Colorado reporters and "only goes on fake news stations like OAN and Newsmax."
He said that it all boils down to the fact that Boebert's right-wing restaurant — where staff are encouraged to carry firearms — is simply not popular.
"The other thing to note is that her restaurant lost $143,000 in 2019 and $226,000 in 2020. This is not like a successful business that she like forgot to pay unemployment insurance on or she forgot to pay her rent once in a while. This is the entire problem is that she's a failed business and she's using her campaign funds to paper it over," he explained.
"It's a house of cards and at some point the whole thing is going to fall down," Silverii predicted.
Lauren Boebert — Shooters Grill www.youtube.com