(SNews) – The Office of Congressional Ethics has released a statement in which they say there is “substantial reason to believe” AOC “accepted impermissible associated with her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021” that violated “standards of conduct and federal law.”
The Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously recommended the House Ethics Committee continue its investigation of the incident in a big blow to AOC. The ethics panel said:
“The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics (hereafter “the Board”), by a vote of no less than four members, on June 17, 2022, adopted the following report and ordered it to be transmitted to the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives (hereafter “the Committee”).
“SUBJECT: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021. If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts, then she may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.
“VOTES IN THE AFFIRMATIVE: 5 VOTES IN THE NEGATIVE: 0 ABSTENTIONS: 0
“In 2021, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was invited to and attended the Met Gala with Mr. Roberts. As part of her attendance, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was provided with a couture dress, handbag, shoes, and jewelry.
“She also received hair, makeup, transportation, and ready-room services. Riley Roberts received a bowtie and shoes in advance of the event.
“While Rep. Ocasio-Cortez appears to have now paid for the rental value of the attire she wore to the Met Gala and for the goods and services she and her partner received in connection with this September 2021 event, payment for these goods and services did not occur until after the OCE contacted her in connection with this review.
“But for the OCE opening this review, it appears that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez may not have paid for several thousands of dollars’ worth of goods and services provided to her.”
AOC’s lawyer said:
“Though no Ethics violation has been found, the Office of Congressional Ethics (“OCE”) did identify that there were delays in paying vendors for costs associated with the Congresswoman’s attendance at the Met Gala.
“The Congresswoman finds these delays unacceptable, and she has taken several steps to ensure nothing of this nature will ever happen again.
“However, while regrettable, this matter definitively does not rise to the level of a violation of House Rules or of federal law. Even after OCE’s exhaustive review of the Congresswoman’s personal communications, there is no evidence that she ever intended to avoid these expenses.
“To the contrary, the record clearly shows that the Congresswoman always understood that she had to pay for these expenses personally – and she even worked with the undersigned counsel prior to the event to ensure that she complied with all applicable ethics rules.
“We are confident the Committee on Ethics will dismiss this matter.”
🚨BREAKING: The Office of Congressional Ethics has released a statement in which they say there is "substantial reason to believe" AOC "accepted impermissible associated with her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021" that violated "standards of conduct and federal law." pic.twitter.com/cR215TfY6J
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 2, 2023