Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded Wednesday evening to the news that she is under congressional investigation by claiming that she takes ethics “incredibly seriously.”
“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.”
The House Ethics Committee announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon that Ocasio-Cortez 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 committee said in a statement.
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.”
No information was released on why the committee was investigating Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of two complaints submitted to the committee last year over her attendance at the Met Gala, the New York Post reported.
One complaint alleged that Ocasio-Cortez violated rules because she accepted free tickets to the event, which would normally be allowed if it was a charity event and the tickets were provided by the organizers, the report said. However, the Post noted that the group that filed the complaint alleged Ocasio-Cortez should not have been allowed to accept the ticket because “invitations are controlled by a for-profit company” and “tables at the event are similarly sponsored by corporate entities.”
The second complaint alleged that the dress Ocasio-Cortez wore to the event, which featured giant red letters stating, “Tax The Rich,” 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.”
Despite borrowing the dress for the event, The Washington Free Beacon reported that Ocasio-Cortez did not report receiving any gifts in 2021 aside from a $3,000 engagement ring from her then-boyfriend, Riley Roberts.
The report added that the committee was also investigating outgoing Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for allegedly violating ethics rules 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.