According to a recent statement issued by the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is under investigation. The investigation follows a complaint made against the congresswoman that was referred to the Office of Congressional Ethics in June of this year.
The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent, non-partisan organization that reviews the conduct of House lawmakers and their staff. Once they review a complaint, it can be forwarded to the House Ethics Committee if it is worthy of further investigation.
According to the press release from the House Ethics Committee:
“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 Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress.”
The House Ethics Committee is set to meet sometime in 2023 when they will discuss their course of action. The panel consists of eight members who will review the complaint. No further details aside from the press release have been given.
According to AOC’s office:
“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests. We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”
This isn’t the first time the representative has been the subject of ethics complaints. Last year, AOC had two complaints filed to the Office of Congressional Ethics over her controversial appearance at the Met Gala. She was seen wearing a designer dress with the phrase “Tax the Rich” on the back of it.
The National Legal Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative watchdog group filed a complaint that the congresswoman improperly accepted tickets to the event for herself and her boyfriend.
The NLPC argued:
“It is the table sponsor who is gifting or underwriting a coveted seat to AOC at the Gala. And if … the table where AOC sat was one paid for by one of [the] corporations attending the event, such as Instagram or Facebook, AOC has received a prohibited gift from the corporation that also lobbies Congress.”
“If AOC had not been a Member, she would not have been invited to the Gala, and even if she would have been invited as a private citizen, the designer would not have made a special dress for her to wear at the event.”
Another complaint was filed by the American Accountability Foundation alleging the event was controlled by a for-profit group that could pose a conflict of interest. The organization claimed that companies could have essentially bought access to the politician that is unavailable to ordinary citizens by sponsoring a table at the gala.
AOC claimed her attendance at the gala was to engage in New York City’s cultural offerings, without publicly responding to the complaints filed against her.
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