Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is under investigation for ethics violations, the House Ethics Committee announced on Dec. 7.
It gave no explanation about the reason for the investigation.
Still, there are indications that give some clues as to possible reasons for the case: specifically, Ocasio-Cortez's attendance of the Met Gala in September 2021.
At the gala, an annual event attended by the wealthy and well-connected, Ocasio-Cortez made splashes when she wore a designer dress that read "Tax the Rich." The statement was instantly mocked by conservatives, who noted that the Met Gala costs tens of thousands of dollars to attend—a figure well out of reach for everyday Americans.
Accountability Group Files Ethics ComplaintFollowing the event, Thomas Jones, founder of the conservative-leaning American Accountability Foundation (AAF) argued in an ethics complaint that he believes Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist who represents areas of Queens and the Bronx, broke House rules by accepting the gift (pdf).
"The American Accountability Foundation is writing today to request that you immediately open an investigation of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) for accepting an impermissible gift to attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala (the Met Gala)," Jones's statement said.
He requested an investigation into whether Ocasio-Cortez's attendance at the pricey event, or the high-end designer dress she wore, constituted a violation of the House's complicated Gift Rule.
"If Representative Occasion-Cortez has used campaign funds to pay for this ticket, she has also violated FEC prohibitions on campaign funds being used for entertainment purposes," Jones added.
"Without prompt investigation and enforcement of Congressional Rules, the American people are likely to lose faith in the ability of Congress to police its members," he wrote.
The Dec. 7 statement by the House Ethics Committee, attributable to acting Chair Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-Miss.), emphasized that the disclosure of the investigation "does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee."
Ocasio-Cortez's office did not reply to a request for comment.