AOC ‘confident’ that issue at centre of House Ethics Committee investigation will be dismissed

The House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee has announced that it will be continuing an investigation into Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez into the new year - after the New York congresswoman said she is “confident” the matter will be dismissed.

In a press release, the committee wrote that its acting chair and ranking member “have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Alexandria OcasioCortez, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23, 2022.

“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 judgement on behalf of the Committee.

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

While the panel did not specify what it is looking into, the Democratic congresswoman was last year the subject of a complaint from the right-wing American Accountability Foundation, which demanded that the Office of Congressional Ethics investigate Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance at the 2021 Met Gala in New York City.

The group, an openly partisan organisation and which has aggressively targeted various of Joe Biden’s nominees with opposition research, claimed in its complaint that the congresswoman had erred by accepting an invitation to the gala, which is a charity event, because of the involvement of for-profit companies and the presence of representatives from organisations and businesses potentially subject to congressional scrutiny.

However, at the time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on any suggestion that her attendance at the gala was compromising, pointing out that she did not even take possession of the “Tax the Rich” dress she famously wore to the event.

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A spokesperson for the congresswoman told Insider that Ms Ocasio-Cortez “has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” and that she and her staff “are confident that this matter will be dismissed”.

The timetable given by the committee in its statement extends the investigation into a Congress where Republicans control the House, and by extension the Ethics Committee.

Some of the GOP’s most senior House members have promised to investigate scores of Democratic Party figures and members of the Biden administration, but so far, investigations into members of Congress have so far not featured high on their agenda.