House Ethics panel extends probe into dress, other gifts Ocasio-Cortez received for 2021 Met Gala
The bipartisan committee said Thursday members decided in December 2022 to extended their review into the allegations.
The House Ethics Committee is extending its review on whether Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts associated with her appearance at the 2021 Met Gala.
The bipartisan committee said Thursday members decided in December 2022 to extend their review into the allegation after they received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics.
An 18-page report prepared by the office made public Thursday and reviews by NBC News shows the New York lawmaker may have violated House rules, standards of conduct and federal law and concluded there was "substantial reason to believe" Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts.
House lawmakers are prohibited from accepting gifts such as "a gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance or other item having monetary value," the news outlet also reports.
During the September 2021 gala, Ocasio-Cortez was given "a couture dress, handbag, shoes, and jewelry," the ethics report states. "She also received hair, makeup, transportation and ready-room services."
The dress was a floor-length gown designed by Aurora James with “Tax the Rich” emblazoned in red on the back.
Her partner, Riley Roberts, received a bow tie and shoes for the event, NBC also reports.
The ethics report states 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." However, it said, the payment wasn't made until after the ethics office contacted her for its review."
The report also provides detail of bills related to the event that for months went unpaid – including one from a hair stylist who charged about $477 and was not paid until February 2022.
Ocasio-Cortez has said, "There was a ball that was dropped' and has described the matter as "deeply regrettable," when asked about the delays in payments for goods and services related to the gala.
Her office on Thursday essential restated the apology but said the delayed payments "do not rise to the level do not rise to the level of a violation of House Rules" and expressed confidence in the matter being dismissed, also according to NBC News.