Report: AOC Could Face Criminal Prosecution


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (L) (D-NY) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listen to testimony from acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan while he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on July 18, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is facing scrutiny over discrepancies in her financial disclosure forms. If intentional, this could result in civil penalties and even imprisonment.

According to a new report from the Washington Free Beacon, Ocasio-Cortez has referred to her fiancé, Riley Roberts, as her “spouse” in forms submitted to the House Ethics Committee at least four times. The term “spouse” is strictly defined by the committee as someone to whom you are legally married. If they have indeed been legally married since at least Jan. 13, 2023, as suggested by four legal filings, then Ocasio-Cortez is required to disclose Roberts’s financial information. However, she has not done so.

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Her spokesperson, Lauren Hitt, claims that the term “spouse” is commonly extended to long-term partners. But this contradicts the House Ethics Committee’s definition. Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez did not disclose any of Roberts’s reportable stock holdings, assets, liabilities, or income on her latest financial disclosure submitted in August, despite referring to him as her “spouse.”

Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, from the Project on Government Oversight, says Ocasio-Cortez’s actions open her to charges of hypocrisy. He calls on her to disclose her household finances publicly. “If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is going to refer to Mr. Roberts as her spouse in the context of one kind of ethics disclosure, it would be logical and consistent for her to do so in the context of all ethics disclosures,” he said.

The issue arises as Ocasio-Cortez champions ethics and transparency in government. She has proposed legislation to ban Congress members and their spouses from owning stocks, and has criticized Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for alleged ethical transgressions.

If Ocasio-Cortez is legally married to Roberts, she might have created other legal issues. Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, says that if they were married, she would be required to disclose his finances on her 2022 financial disclosure.

Intentional misrepresentations in financial disclosure forms can result in civil penalties or even imprisonment. Additionally, Ocasio-Cortez could face reprimand from the House Ethics Committee or censure from a majority vote of the House if she intentionally concealed her husband’s finances, warns Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center.


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