US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Met Gala 2021.
US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have violated the US House rules by attending the 2021 Met Gala in New York wearing a rented designer gown that garnered more attention than the outfits of the celebrities in attendance, according to a congressional watchdog. The watchdog review found "substantial reason to believe that she accepted impermissible gifts", as per a report in the BBC.
The investigation focuses on the costs associated with the garment she rented to wear to the event. She wore a white dress and made a strong statement with "Tax The Rich" printed on its back in red. The legislator has denied doing anything wrong.
According to a report released on Thursday by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the Democratic legislator received the dress, handbag, shoes and jewellery for the occasion. It further said that along with the use of a hotel room for the event, she also received hair, makeup and transportation services.
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The report stated, "While Rep. 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, payment for these goods and services did not occur until after the OCE contacted her in connection with this review." It also said that "if Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts, then she may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,".
David Mitrani, the counsel for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the she "finds these delays (in payment) unacceptable, and she has taken several steps to ensure nothing of this nature will ever happen again."
He added, "However, while regrettable, this matter definitively does not rise to the level of a violation of House Rules or of federal law. Even after OCE's exhaustive review of the Congresswoman's personal communications, there is no evidence that she ever intended to avoid these expenses. "