Newly uncovered emails have indicated that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was warned by an anti-corruption lawyer that she should not accept an invitation from Vogue to attend the 2021 Met Gala.
Ocasio-Cortez’s attendance at the event is currently the subject of an ethics investigation, as the House Office of Congressional Ethics reported last week that it had found “substantial reason to believe” that the Democrat congresswoman may have violated federal law when she accepted “impermissible gifts” linked to the event.
The New York Democrat went viral when she attended the star-studded Met Gala while wearing a dress with the words “Tax the Rich” across the back of it.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 2, 2023
Now, despite her office’s claims that she did nothing wrong, new emails show that Ocasio-Cortez was already made aware of the potential ethics violations of accepting an invitation from Vogue.
The anti-corruption lawyer warned in an email that Vogue’s parent company, Advance Media Publications, was a registered lobbyist — which essentially means that Ocasio-Cortez was accepting a gift from a lobbyist.
The lawyer went on to suggest that the Democrat congresswoman could attend the Met Gala if she had an invitation from the event’s organizers, but not from Vogue. Despite these warnings, Ocasio-Cortez and her then-boyfriend accepted the tickets.
“The Congresswoman could accept an invitation from [the Met], but not from Vogue,” the email read, according to documents released by the Congressional Ethics Committee. “Since Advance Publications is a registered lobbyist, we’ll need to be extra careful!”
“Hope the congresswoman had a great time last night! … [W]e have had a number of inquiries … Mainly from Page Six … Given that she was a guest of [V]ogue, we were planning to say … she was a guest of Anna [Wintour]’s. … wanted to check with you,” the lawyer wrote in another email, according to the New York Post.
Multiple watchdog groups have filed complaints over Ocasio-Cortez and her now-fiancé accepting the tickets, which cost $35,000 each. Concerns also arose over the Democrat congresswoman’s “borrowed” dress for the event, her being seated at a sponsored table possibly valued up to $300,000, and her limousine ride.
According to the Washington Examiner, “Documents from the Congressional Ethics Committee trove clarified that the invitation information Ocasio-Cortez and her boyfriend received showed they were ‘guests of Vogue.’ Following her outing, a Vogue staffer contacted Ocasio-Cortez’s team and suggested they describe her as a guest of Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief.”