AOC Facing House Ethics Committee Investigation

AOC Facing House Ethics Committee Investigation

AOC Facing House Ethics Committee Investigation

Well, well, the tables are turning in the Congressional House. After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — or AOC for short — has been a burr in the butt of Republicans, the House is investigating her for ethics violations.

Yessiree, Ms. Tax-the-Rich may get her comeuppance courtesy of the House Committee on Ethics, which had received a recommendation in June from the Office of Congressional Ethics (I know, it’s complex).

In its official press release, however, the Committee on Ethics advised not to jump to conclusions. Acting chair Susan Wild (D-PA) and Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-MS) announced the investigation, but advised there may be nothing there:

“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.”

Oh, okay. But as Forbes reported:

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

As for AOC, her spokeswoman Lauren Hitt waved off the investigation, stating:

“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations or other special interests.”

So what is this all about, anyway?


Two Possible Reasons for the AOC Investigation

At this point no one is sure why Ocasio-Cortez is facing an ethics violation. But there are two possibilities, and they both stem from her attendance at the Met Gala in New York City in 2021.

Two groups have filed ethics complaints against AOC: the American Accountability Foundation, and the National Legal and Policy Center. Let’s look at the complaints of both groups.

The American Accountability Foundation has an issue with the tickets Ocasio-Cortez received as gifts. The group accuses her of violating Rule 25 — commonly called the “Gift Rule” — by accepting the tickets.

“Specifically, we believe Representative Ocasio-Cortez has violated clause 5 of Rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives (commonly known as the Gift Rule) by accepting admission to the Met Gala, an event whose per seat costs is reported to range from $35,000 to $50,000, without having a permissible exemption to allow the acceptance of the lavish gift.”

They also add that if AOC used campaign funds to pay for the tickets, she had violated FEC prohibitions.

At the time, Ocasio-Cortez scoffed at the complaints by her critics:

“New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance this evening.”

Yeah, but, said the AAF. That doesn’t apply to events at the Met, since Conde-Nast — a for-profit company — controls the invitations. On top of that, her table at the event was most likely sponsored by Instagram. As the AAF wrote, Instagram “was able to purchase access to Representative Ocasio-Cortez that is unavailable to average citizens.”

Not only that, but the AAF added:

“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.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering how pricey the tables are: they can range between $200,000 to $300,000. Corporations can bribe a lot of congresspeople with those offerings.


And then there’s that Dress.


The Tax-the-Rich Dress

The National Legal and Policy Center filed its complaint with a focus on the dress Ocasio-Cortez wore to the Met Gala. You remember that dress, don’t you? It was skin-tight, with the words “Tax The Rich” emblazoned across AOC’s, um, tuchus.

Granted, AOC borrowed that dress from the designer Brother Vellies. But the NLPC asserts that it was the loan was an impermissible gift because it was “directly related to AOC’s ‘position with the House’ as a highly visible and controversial Member.” The NLPC added:

“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.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wanted attention with that dress. Well, she certainly got it.


What Will Happen to AOC?

Lauren Hitt, the spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, expressed confidence that the ethics complaint will vanish. Poof!

“We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”

But deep down that bravado is probably wavering. That’s because the Ethics Committee punted to the 118th Congress to handle the AOC problem. And which party has the reins of the 118th Congress?

That’s right, the Republicans. And I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a little payback to the Democrats, and AOC is a prime target of opportunity.

What goes around, comes around, amiright?


Featured image: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cropped/CC BY-SA 2.0. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Cameron says:

    I’d pity Donkey Chompers but I save that for human beings. And of course there will be bleating about “misogyny” and how these Republicans just want to date her.

  • Taylor says:

    Nothing will happen to her. She has a “D” after her name. She actually has done zero for her constituents outside of “performance art”.

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