The Washington Examiner reported this week that New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being investigated by the House Committee on Ethics.
While the paper noted that few details have been made available regarding the investigation, a press release put out by the committee on Wednesday offered some background information.
"Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A), and Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A), 17A(c)(1), and 17A(j), the Acting Chairwoman and Acting Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23, 2022," it said.
"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 judgment on behalf of the Committee," the statement emphasized.
"The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in the 118th Congress," it added.
Meanwhile, as spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez told Forbes magazine that the left-wing lawmaker was innocent of any wrongdoing and looked forward to the issue being dismissed.
"The congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations or other special interests," the spokesperson declared.
The Examiner noted that last year, the conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) called for an investigation of Ocasio-Cortez after she showed up at the Met Gala while wearing a dress emblazoned with the slogan "Tax the Rich."
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.https://t.co/aT5hQxESe0
— FACT DC (@factdc) December 7, 2022
In a September 2021 press release, FACT pointed to Ocasio-Cortez's admission that she "'borrowed' a designer formal dress from a company and was also given jewelry from another company to wear at the event."
"The gift rule for Members of Congress is very clear and is in place for good reason. Members simply cannot accept anything of value that isn't on the short list of permitted items," FACT executive director Kendra Arnold said.
"This is a bedrock ethics rule and it serves several important purposes--it prevents Members from cashing in on their position, it prevents gift-givers from gaining influence, and it maintains the public trust," she continued.
Arnold pointed out that not only did Ocasio-Cortez "state that she did not pay for an item, she also implied that she was given the ticket because of her 'responsibilities in overseeing' the gift-giver."
"This entire situation is exactly what the House's gift rule is designed to prevent, and we request an immediate investigation into this matter by the Office of Congressional Ethics," she concluded.