Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is under investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Ethics.
On Wednesday, the committee released a statement confirming the investigation which said,
“Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A), and Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A), 17A(c)(1), and 17A(j), the Acting Chairwoman and Acting Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23, 2022.
The Committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”
AOC’s office responded to this announcement, insisting that “the Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests.”
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“We are confident that this matter will be dismissed,” they added.
The committee did not provide additional details on the investigation, but it is being speculated that it is related to two complaints that were filed in 2021 after AOC attended the Met Gala as a guest, where a ticket typically costs $35,000.
At this star-studded event, AOC infamously wore a dress that bore the words “Tax the Rich.”
It is alleged that the Democratic rep. violated House rules by accepting free tickets to the exclusive event.
The complaints were filed by two conservative groups: the American Accountability Foundation and the National Legal and Policy Center.
The first claimed that, by sponsoring a table at the gala, Instagram “was able to purchase access to Representative Ocasio-Cortez that is unavailable to average citizens.”
The latter alleged that the white Brother Vellies gown worn by AOC was an “impermissible gift” because it was “directly related to AOC’s position with the House as a highly visible and controversial Member.”
“If AOC had not been a Member, she would not have been invited to the Gala,” said the NLPC complaint, “and even if she would have been invited as a private citizen, the designer would not have made a special dress for her to wear at the event.”