Congressional Ethics Office Says AOC ‘May Have’ Violated House Rules During 2021 Met Gala Appearance 

AOC Wears Designer Gown to Met Gala with the Words Tax the Rich

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) says there is “substantial reason to believe” that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala in 2021,” which “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

The report from the OCE, which was voted on unanimously (5-0), revealed that the Ocasio-Cortez allegations will be further reviewed after “substantial reason to believe” she “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law” when she “received a series of goods and services which she did not pay for” until after there was an investigation into her appearance at the 2021 Met Gala.

The OCE’s applicable Law, Rules, and Standards of Conduct mentioned in the report that the rule Ocasio-Cortez “may have violated” includes “gifts.” Notably, watchdog groups have stated in the past the term “gifts” in the House rules are defined in “an extremely broad manner” that includes a “gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value.” It also includes “gifts of service, training, transportation, lodging, and meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.”

The OCE report stated:

In 2021, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was invited to and attended the Met Gala with Mr. Roberts. As part of her attendance, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was provided with a couture dress, handbag, shoes, and jewelry. She also received hair, makeup, transportation, and ready-room services. Riley Roberts received a bowtie and shoes in advance of the event.

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. But for the OCE opening this review, it appears that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez may not have paid for several thousands of dollars’ worth of goods and services provided to her. [Emphasis added.]

Ocasio-Cortez told the ethics office, “Given the nature and visibility of the Met Gala, she retained counsel to ensure she and her team complied with all ethics rules.” It was also noted in the report that the congresswoman, in conjunction with her team, as well as counsel, determined before the event that “she would be personally paying for the attire and services she received in connection with the Met Gala (as opposed to paying with campaign or official funds).”

This, of course, was the same year Ocasio-Cortez attended the Gala wearing the infamous ultra-fancy designer dress with the message “Tax the Rich” emblazoned across the back. The congresswoman’s dress was designed by Aurora James of Brother Vellies, who has an estimated net worth of $9 million.

In response to the ethics office review, Ocasio-Cortez’s counsel, David Mitrani, claimed, in a lengthy statement to Fox News, that the ethics office review did not find any violation of House rules:

Though no Ethics violation has been found, the Office of Congressional Ethics (“OCE”) did identify that there were delays in paying vendors for costs associated with the Congresswoman’s attendance at the Met Gala. The Congresswoman finds these delays unacceptable, and she has taken several steps to ensure nothing of this nature will ever happen again… 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. To the contrary, the record clearly shows that the Congresswoman always understood that she had to pay for these expenses personally – and she even worked with the undersigned counsel prior to the event to ensure that she complied with all applicable ethics rules.

However, Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, Kendra Arnold, who was among the people that filed an ethics complaint about Ocasio-Cortez attending the event, said she is “thankful” the OCE followed through with an investigation and “found substantial evidence that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez violated House rules by accepting impermissible gifts” in connection to her attendance.

“The gift rule is crystal clear and serves to deter outside actors from gaining influence over members of Congress,” Arnold added. “It is never ok for any Member to accept thousands of dollars of free designer clothes and services to attend an exclusive high society event–this obviously includes Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.