The House Ethics Committee announced New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is under investigation on Wednesday.
The Committee did not provide further details surrounding Ocasio-Cortez’s investigation.
“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,” read the statement. “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.”
“The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress.”
BREAKING: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) Is Under Investigation By House Ethics Committee
“Typically, when that office forwards an investigation, it’s because it has reason to believe an ethics law was broken.”https://t.co/ux4UaDuzVz
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) December 7, 2022
“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” a spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez told Forbes, who first broke the story.
In September 2021, the New York representative appeared at the Met Gala infamously donning a formal designer white dress with “TAX THE RICH” written across her back in red lettering. Ocasio-Cortez was heavily criticized after it was revealed her dress was “borrowed,” and her $35,000 ticket had been comped according to the congresswoman.
Critics also noted Ocasio-Cortez was seated at the same table as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who organizes the Met Gala to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
Three conservative groups filed complaints with the House Ethics Committee following Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance at the Met Gala including the American Accountability Foundation who said the congresswoman’s appearance was “tone-deaf.”
“AOC took this opportunity to display a tone-deaf ‘tax the rich’ slogan on her custom-made designer gown while rubbing elbows with wealthy Hollywood celebrities and influencers — a group not selected by the Met, but handpicked by Anna Wintour and Conde Nast,” wrote the organization.
“This is a case where the Member’s own words should trigger an investigation — not only did she state that she did not pay for an item, she also implied that she was given the ticket because of her ‘responsibilities in overseeing’ the gift-giver,” said executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust Kendra Arnold in a statement following the Met Gala. “This entire situation is exactly what the House’s gift rule is designed to prevent, and we request an immediate investigation into this matter by the Office of Congressional Ethics.”
“Representative Ocasio-Cortez may have violated the House Gift Rule by accepting free admission for herself and boyfriend to the Met Gala event and receiving related gifts before, during, or after the event, including the use of custom-designed dress, limousine service, the use of the Carlyle Hotel, professional hair and makeup services, and any other related services or goods,” said the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) in a complaint.