A report by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) suggested that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) received impermissible gifts relating to her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala, where she wore a dress that had the words “Tax the Rich” emblazoned on the back.
The report from June 2022 and other materials the House Ethics Committee released on Thursday (March 2) showed that for months vendors expressed frustration for hair and makeup services going unpaid. Vendors for the ensemble and other related costs also only had bills set months later.
Ocasio-Cortez explained there was “a ball that was dropped” in an interview with the OCE, expressing regret that thousands of payments had been delayed.
The Democrat lawmaker recalled following up with a campaign staffer about paying for the services.
Although the OCE board explained in its report that Ocasio-Cortez appears to have paid the rental value of the outfits, goods, and services she and her fiance received for the Met Gala, it voted to refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee.
The vote was unanimous and was made as the Office of Congressional Ethics believes Ocasio-Cortez may have violated the House’s standard of conduct and rules in addition to federal law.
In December, the House Ethics Committee revealed it was investigating the New York Congresswoman but didn’t reveal what the probe was about.
While Ocasio-Cortez’s counsel acknowledged that the payment delay was “unacceptable,” in a letter last week, it suggested the “matter definitively does not rise to the level of a violation of House Rules or… federal law.”