A conservative watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday, claiming she violated congressional rules by attending the high-priced event.
"There are serious questions about whether or not her ticket — donated or purchased with campaign funds — was permissible under the code of congressional ethics," said The American Accountability Foundation in a statement. "
"These rules exist for a reason. Without strict adherence, we run the risk of corruption in the halls of Congress and public officials serving others over their constituents. Government has a responsibility to its citizens, and integrity and accountability should be our foremost concern."
The New York Democrat wore a floor-length white gown with "Tax the Rich" emblazoned in red on the back of the dress, designed by Aurora James.
“When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we really started having a conversation about what it means to be working-class women of color at the Met, and we said, 'We can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,'” Ocasio-Cortez said during a red carpet interview with James.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, was swiftly criticized on social media for attending the high-society event with a luxury designer. The event boasts Hollywood celebrities and influencers every year, and tickets for the event reportedly cost $35,000, while tables, which are typically sponsored by companies, range between $200,000 and $300,000.
The American Accountability Foundation claims her attendance should count as an illegal gift since attendees were handpicked by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and the magazine's company, Conde Nast, and therefore not a gift from a charitable organization. However, proceeds from the event typically support the Met's Costume Institute. In 2019, the gala raised $15 million, according to the New York Times, for instance.
In a statement, Ocasio-Cortez's office said it did not run afoul of the rules.
“We are confident we complied with all ethics rules," her office said.