On March 2, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) released its report regarding a referral it had made to the House Ethics Committee on June 23, 2022. According to OCE:
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.
Click here for the OCE report.
OCE apparently acted on the basis of two Complaints, one which was filed by NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar on September 15, 2021. Click here for the Complaint.
From the New York Post:
The National Legal and Policy Center, which filed the second complaint about the gown, said it was “pleased that the Office of Congressional Ethics … unanimously concluded that [Ocasio-Cortez] received illegal gifts associated with her attending the Met Gala Ball in 2021 in the form of her famous ‘Tax the Rich’ dress, makeup, jewelry, limo services, and other services.”
“The House Ethics Committee will now pick up the recommendation to issue subpoenas to the parties who refused to cooperate with OCE and impose appropriate penalties on AOC,” added NLPC counsel Paul Kamenar. “Those penalties can include a fine, reprimand, censure, or expulsion from the House, and a referral to other enforcement agencies, including the Federal Election Commission if AOC’s repayment of the services came from her campaign account instead of her personal account.”
While we welcome the OCE report, which tends to confirm the allegations contained in our Complaint, we stand by our assertion that AOC and other members of the Squad have received lenient treatment by ethics enforcers.
We also believe that the OCE investigation, the credibility and competence of which is reflected in the report, confirms our assertion that the efforts to neuter OCE during the recent House Speaker election were misguided.
photo: AP photos