The House Ethics Committee is launching a bipartisan investigation into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), the panel announced Wednesday.
The committee did not disclose the nature of its investigation, which was jointly launched by acting committee chairwoman Susan Wild (D., Pa.) and acting ranking member Michael Guest (R., Miss.). But Ocasio-Cortez has faced numerous allegations of ethical impropriety during her time in Congress, including the possibility that she improperly accepted gifts ahead of the 2021 Met Gala.
A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez said she is confident the matter will be dismissed. “The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” the spokesperson told Forbes.
Watchdogs say the Democratic firebrand violated House ethics rules when she “borrowed” jewelry and a glitzy custom-made “tax the rich” gown for the 2021 Met Gala. Ocasio-Cortez also impermissibly accepted free tickets to the event for her and her then-boyfriend, Riley Roberts, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust and National Legal and Policy Center watchdog groups alleged in their respective ethics complaints.
Ocasio-Cortez did not report receiving any gifts connected to her attendance at the Met Gala in her 2021 financial disclosure. She did, however, disclose receiving a $3,057.04 engagement ring from Roberts.
Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t be the first lawmaker to be investigated over their attendance at the Met Gala. The Office of Congressional Ethics reported in June that there is “substantial reason to believe” outgoing Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) violated ethics rules for allegedly soliciting an invitation to 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 told the Washington Free Beacon.
In August, Ocasio-Cortez openly admitted through her spokeswoman that she was flouting financial disclosure rules by failing to report her 2021 disclosure by the Aug. 13 deadline. She ultimately filed the disclosure on Sept. 12, one day before she would have been levied a fine.
In June, Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) were arrested outside the Supreme Court as part of a stunt coordinated with a dark money group funded by liberal billionaire financier George Soros.
Her troubles with the law didn’t start there. Ocasio-Cortez illegally parked her Tesla outside a Washington, D.C., Whole Foods on multiple occasions in 2021, a Free Beacon exposé found.
The Ethics Committee said in a statement that disclosure of its investigation is not proof Ocasio-Cortez violated House ethics rules. The committee added that further details about the investigation will be announced after the 118th Congress convenes in January.
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