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Tipsheet

AOC Is Under Investigation by the House Ethics Committee

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

The bipartisan House Ethics Committee revealed Wednesday Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is under investigation. 

"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," a statement released by the Committee says. "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."

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"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 statement continues. 

According to Forbes, Ocasio-Cortez maintains she did nothing unethical and works to ensure she is in compliance with House ethics rules. 

“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Typically, when that office forwards an investigation, it is because the office has reason to believe an ethics law was broken.

AOC has been under scrutiny in the past for misuse of campaign funds. After attending the MET Gala in September 2021, where tickets for entry cost $35,000, speculation swirled about whether an investigation would be launched after a complaint was filed by the American Accountability Foundation

Without prompt and indiscriminate enforcement of Congressional Rules, the American people are likely to lose faith in the ability of Congress to police its members and promote integrity at the highest levels of government.

To hold firm to that standard, The American Accountability Foundation has filed a complaint and demanded that Representative Ocasio-Cortez be held accountable for her clear violation of congressional ethics while attending this year’s Met Gala in New York City. Though claiming her attendance to the $35,000 a plate event was part of her “official duties,” there are serious questions about whether or not her ticket - donated or purchased with campaign funds - was permissible under the code of congressional ethics. A simple reading of House Rules suggests that she violated the longstanding gift rule, clause 5 of Rule XXV.

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. As a for-profit company, Conde Nast fails to meet any definition of a charitable organization and debunks AOC’s claim that her attendance was legitimate or subject to any exemption from the House’s gift rule.

These rules exist for a reason. Without strict adherence, we run the risk of corruption in the halls of Congress and public officials serving others over their constituents. Government has a responsibility to its citizens, and integrity and accountability should be our foremost concern.

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