Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lawyer rips recommended ethics probe linked to her Met Gala appearance
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Shutterstock)

A lawyer for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) shot down a recommendation to launch an ethics investigation into expenses incurred — and paid — by the lawmaker linked to her 2021 appearance at the annual Met Gala fundraiser in Manhattan.

The board of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) voted last summer to recommend the GOP-controlled House Ethics Committee investigate Ocasio-Cortez over a late payment for renting a couture dress that said "Tax the Rich" and for hair and makeup services ahead of her gala attendance.

The probe is just coming to light now because the records about the decision to launch the probe have only recently been released.

"This matter definitely does not rise to the level of a violation of House Rules or of federal law. No Ethics violation has been found," lawyer David Mitrani wrote the chief counsel of the House Ethics Committee in a letter dated Monday obtained by Raw Story.

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The board issued a statement last summer to justify its probe recommendation, arguing that Ocasio-Cortez "may have accepted impermissible gifts" linked to her attendance at the gala the previous September.

As part of her attendance at the gala Ocasio-Cortez was provided with a couture dress, handbag, shoes and jewelry, according to the board's report. She also received hair, makeup and transportation services. Her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, was reportedly provided with shoes and a bowtie.

Ocasio-Cortez covered all expenses for the the rental of her and Roberts' attire, and for all services, the report conceded — but not until after she was contacted by the OCE during its review, it added. Had the OCE not contacted the lawmaker, the Office of Congressional Ethics speculated that Ocasio-Cortez "may not have paid for several thousands of dollars' worth of goods and services provided to her."

Mitrani noted in his letter that Ocasio-Cortez considers her payment delay "unacceptable," and has "taken several steps to ensure nothing of this nature will ever happen again." She "always understood that she had to pay for these expenses personally," the lawyer added, and she "complied with all applicable ethics rules."

Mitrani said he and Ocasio-Cortez "are confident the Ethics Committee will dismiss this matter."