March 7, 2023

AOC Blames Staff Member for Not Paying Gala Expense As Ethics Probe Begins

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blames one of her staff members for not paying her expenses for attending the 2021 Met Gala which has led to a House ethics committee investigation.

The House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) recently opened an investigation to consider whether the congresswoman improperly received gifts to attend the event.

"I just never, ever, ever would have allowed that to happen knowing what I have learned," she said. "But I wasn't privy to the invoices, wasn't privy to the ones that had been sent."

"And it is just a deeply regrettable situation," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "I feel terrible for especially the small businesses that were impacted."

The staff member is no longer working for the congresswoman but took responsibility for the unpaid costs in testimony with the committee.

The congresswoman was under investigation for accepting an "impermissible gift" to attend the Met Gala.

"Specifically we believe Representative Ocasio-Cortez has violated clause 5 of Rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives (commonly known as the Gift Rule) by accepting admission to the Met Gala, an event whose per seat costs is reported to range from $35,000 to $50,000 without having a permissible exemption to allow the acceptance of the lavish gift," the American Accountability Foundation wrote last year.

"If Representative Ocasio-Cortez has used campaign funds to pay for this ticket, she has also violated FEC prohibitions on campaign funds being used for entertainment purposes," the report added.

The event was made famous in reports that featured Ocasio-Cortez wearing a white gown featuring the words "Tax the Rich."

The congresswoman may now face her own issues for publicizing her views at the event with the end result backfiring against her intended publicity stunt.

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