This past Wednesday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued a response to the breaking news that she is now under congressional investigation by stating that she takes her ethics “incredibly seriously.”
“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” expressed the office of Ocasio-Cortez in a release. “We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”
In a Wednesday evening announcement, the House Ethics Committee stated that Ocasio-Cortez was currently under federal investigation due to a complaint that had been submitted this past summer.
“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,” explained the committee in its release.
The release went on to say 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.”
As of writing, no information has been made public as to why the committee has initiated such an investigation into the congresswoman.
Ocasio-Cortez was the prime subject of a pair of complaints that were submitted to the committee this past year due to her attendance of the Met Gala, as reported by the New York Post.
One of these complaints alleged that Ocasio-Cortez openly violated rules by accepting a set of free tickets to the event, which would normally be ok to do if it has been a charity event and the tickets were issued by the event organizers, explained the report. The key difference, however, was that the group which filed the complaint alleged that the congresswoman should have been allowed to take the tickets because “invitations are controlled by a for-profit company” and “tables at the event are similarly sponsored by corporate entities.”
The second of these complaints alleged that the dress worn by Ocasio-Cortez at the event, which sported massive red letter reading, “Tax The Rich,” constituted taking a gift that she was not allowed to accept because it was “directly related to AOC’s ‘position with the House’ as a highly visible and controversial Member.”
Even though the dress she wore had been borrowed specifically for the event, it was reported by The Washington Free Beacon that Ocasio-Cortez did not report the receipt of any gifts for the year 2021 apart from a $3,000 engagement ring from Riley Roberts, her then-boyfriend.
The report went on to add that the committee was also looking into the currently leaving Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for allegedly standing in violation of ethics rules by asking for an invitation for the event.
“If they’re going after Representative Carolyn Maloney for her soliciting a free ticket to the gala, worth $30,000, surely AOC is a target for more scrutiny,” explained Paul Kamenar, the attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center.