Democrat Under Investigation Over Possible Gifts

( The House Ethics Committee announced that it would pursue an investigation into outgoing New York Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney over allegations that she may have improperly solicited tickets to the annual Met Gala in 2016 and 2020.

According to a report released by the Office of Congressional Ethics on Monday, there is evidence Maloney placed a call to “Witness A, a former president of the Met” asking for an invitation to the Met Gala after the organizers decided not to invite her that year.

The report also included emails between Maloney and a staffer in which Maloney requested the contact information for the former Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Chief Government Relations Officer after asking the staffer if she received an invitation to the 2020 Met Gala, which was later canceled due to the COVID lockdowns.

The Office of Congressional Ethics concluded in its report that Maloney’s efforts to acquire free tickets “may implicate the prohibition on solicitation of gifts under federal law and House rules” rendering as “inapplicable any otherwise applicable gift exception” for attending a charitable event.

The report also notes that Maloney secured federal grants and funding that benefited the Met and pressed for the museum to remain in her congressional district.

In her interview with the Office of Congressional Ethics, Maloney, who currently chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said she couldn’t remember a year in which she was not invited to the Met Gala.

Maloney has denied any wrongdoing.

Tickets to the annual Met Gala cost around $30,000 per person and as much as $200,000 for a table.

The House’s current gift guidance says that members “may accept an unsolicited offer of free attendance for a charity fundraising event” for themselves and their spouses or a dependent child. But the rules emphasize that soliciting such a gift is impermissible.