House ethics committee investigating still-unknown claim against AOC

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, best known as the public face of “The Squad,” faces a probe into an as-yet-unidentified complaint filed against the congresswoman at some point before June of this year.

Wednesday, in a brief press release, the House Committee on Ethics confirmed that its members were proceeding with an investigation after having been made aware of an issue by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23.

“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,” the release reads. “The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s office has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing by the congresswoman.

“The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” the statement reads. “We are confident that this matter will be dismissed.”

While any topic of complaint is possible, there is at least a small chance that the investigation is connected to a complaint filed in the Office of Congressional Ethics by the American Accountability Foundation that could have been the catalyst.

AAF sent a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics in September 2021 after Ocasio-Cortez appeared at the Met Gala, an event that costs tens of thousands of dollars to attend, wearing a dress with the message “tax the rich” written across its back.

“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,” AAF stated at the time. “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.”

The House committee will not truly address the matter until the new Congress convenes in 2023.

“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 release reads.

Word of Ocasio-Cortez’s pending investigation came just one day after the House committee fined outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) in excess of $14,000, all of which was to be paid to charity, for having benefited financially through the purchase of a cryptocurrency he promoted.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent creation of the House of Representatives, is meant to function in a non-partisan way. The House Ethics Committee is, like any other congressional committee, organized along partisan lines and more prone to partisanship.