House Committee on Ethics reveals investigation aimed at Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

Far-left progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as being substantially different than other members of the Washington D.C. political establishment, but in actuality, she may be just as ethically-challenged as any other average member of Congress.

To that end, the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics revealed Wednesday that an ethics investigation had been opened up with regard to Ocasio-Cortez, the Daily Caller reported.

The committee did not, however, specify what sort of alleged ethics infraction the self-identified democratic socialist congresswoman from New York was being scrutinized for.

Investigation announced

A Wednesday press release from the House Committee on Ethics stated, “Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A), and Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A), 17A(c)(1), and 17A(j), 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 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 announcement clarified.

The release concluded, “The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress.”

Spokesperson insists congresswoman did nothing wrong

In response to that announcement from the House Ethics Committee, Forbes reported that a spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez insisted that the New York congresswoman had done nothing wrong or in violation of congressional ethics standards and insisted that whatever complaint was behind the announced investigation would ultimately be dismissed.

Spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told the outlet in a brief statement, “The congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations or other special interests.”

Forbes further noted that while it was not made clear by the committee why Ocasio-Cortez was under investigation, it likely had nothing to with any “donations” received by her campaign but rather was in regard to “impermissible gifts” that were given personally to the congresswoman in 2021 but were not properly disclosed per House Rules.

Potentially violated House “gift” rules with Met Gala attendance

The Washington Free Beacon reported in Sept. 2021 that ethics complaints had been filed against Rep. Ocasio-Cortez by two watchdog groups — the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust as well as the National Legal Policy Center — in relation to the congresswoman’s attendance at the annual Met Gala charity event to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ocasio-Cortez is alleged to have “borrowed” the designer shoes, jewelry, and custom-made “Tax the Rich” evening gown she wore for the event, as well as the professional hair and makeup services that she had received. According to the watchdog groups, those may all have constituted “gifts” under House Rules that should have been properly disclosed.

In addition to that, questions were also raised about the pair of $35,000 apiece tickets the congresswoman received from the museum. Members of Congress are permitted to attend charity events for free, provided the tickets come exclusively from the event’s organizer, and it is unclear if the organizer of the event was the museum or Anna Wintour of fashion media company Conde Nast.

It remains to be seen if anything will come of this investigation by the Ethics Committee and whether Ocasio-Cortez will face any actual consequences or merely be given a slap on the wrist, if that.

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