Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have broken house rules with Met Gala gifts, watchdog says

A congressional watchdog says Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have broken house rules when she received gifts in connection with her attendance at a prestigious fashion event in 2021.

The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the watchdog continue to investigate an allegation against the New York Democrat “because there are substantial reasons to believe she accepted illicit gifts” in connection with the Met Gala, according to a release Thursday. from the desk.

In 2021, Ocasio-Cortez attended one of the biggest fashion nights at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, wearing a white Brother Vellies dress with “Tax the Rich” written on the back in large red letters.

Ocasio-Cortez got the dress, a handbag, shoes and jewelry for the event, according to a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics. She also received hair, makeup and transportation services, as well as the use of a hotel room for the event.

According to the review, Ocasio-Cortez only paid for the items, including the rental value of the dress after the watchdog agency began its review. Investigators said that had the office not opened the investigation, “it appears that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez may not have paid for several thousand dollars in goods and services provided to her.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), left next to Aurora James, attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, September 13, 2021 in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez told investigators she was unaware of the details of the payments, relying instead on a campaign official to handle the matter. She also told the office “a ball had fallen”, calling the situation “deeply regrettable”.

The congressman’s office said in a statement Thursday that none of the findings reach the level of an ethics violation because she has always “understood that she had to pay for these expenses out of her own personal funds.”

The problem is that those costs have yet to be reimbursed, delays that Ocasio-Cortez finds “unacceptable,” the statement said. “And she’s taken several steps to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

AOC’s ‘tax the rich’ dress: Who qualifies as wealthy? And how much tax do they get?

Representative AOC

Representative AOC

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines that year at the star-studded fundraiser when she wore a Brother Vellies white gown with red text on the back that read, “Tax on the Rich.” However, according to the report, she did not pay rent for the dress when she attended.

In addition, the report said that Brother Vellies, Aurora James and Janna Pea refused to provide the requested information to the office and therefore did not cooperate with the investigation. The report therefore recommended that the House Committee on Ethics issue subpoenas to them.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Met Gala dress: AOC may have broken house rules, watchdog says

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