- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2023

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have violated House ethics rules by accepting an “impermissible gift” when attending the ritzy Met Gala in 2021.

The Office of Congressional Ethics said on Thursday that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s attendance at the event warrants further scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee.

“Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala,” said the OCE. “If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts, then she may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was hit with an ethics complaint last year for attending the Met Gala in New York. The event is noted for drawing figures from New York high society.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez attended the event wearing a dress with “tax the rich” splayed across the back. Tickets to the gala, according to the Associated Press, run upward of $30,000.

Given the cost, American Accountability Foundation filed the complaint with the OCE, alleging the congresswoman broke House rules by accepting free tickets to the event.

The group alleges that because Ms. Ocasio-Cortez described attending the event as part of her official duties, the ticket amounts to a gift. Officially, House rules prohibit members of Congress from accepting gifts valued at more than $50.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has been subject to widespread scrutiny since winning an upset Democratic primary for a House seat in 2018. In that campaign, she defeated longtime Rep. Joe Crowley, who was then serving as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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