AOC under congressional investigation for ethics violation
Could AOC's claims that she takes ethics "very seriously" become debunked?
Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - as someone who claims to take ethics "incredibly seriously" - is currently under congressional investigation.
“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” Ocasio-Cortez’s office claimed in a statement. “We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”
On Wednesday, the House Ethics Committee announced that AOC was under investigation over a complaint that they received over the 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."
The statement said 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.”
Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of two complaints submitted to the committee last year over her attending the Met Gala, according to the New York Post. One of the complaints accused AOC of violating policies for accepting free tickets to the event, which would only be allowed if the tickets were distributed by the organizers.
The NYP reported that the complaint alleged that AOC shouldn't have been allowed to accept the invite because “invitations are controlled by a for-profit company” and “tables at the event are similarly sponsored by corporate entities.”
As for the second complaint, the allegations pertained to the dress that AOC wore to the event which featured red letters: "Tax The Rich". The dress, according to the complaint, constituted accepting 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.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, AOC did not report receiving any gifts in 2021 other than the $3,000 engagement ring from her boyfriend at the time, Riley Roberts.
The committee is also looking into Representative Carolyn Maloney on the count of accusations of violating ethics by soliciting 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,” National Legal and Policy Center attorney Paul Kamenar said.