Rep. Matt Gaetz criticizes new House ethics investigations | WORLD
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Rep. Matt Gaetz criticizes new House ethics investigations

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Matt Gaetz criticizes new House ethics investigations

The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday released a statement saying it had initiated a review of new allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. The committee is now looking into whether he obstructed a government investigation and whether he dispensed favors to people with whom he had a special relationship. The committee is also continuing older investigations into whether Gaetz accepted improper gifts and whether he engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use. It has paused four other older investigations of Gaetz. The congressman has categorically denied all allegations before the committee, it said.

Gaetz became well known nationally last year when he initiated the process of removing former Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the role of Speaker of the House.

Where is this all coming from? The committee began investigating Gaetz in 2021. The Ethics Committee ultimately deferred its investigation after the U.S. Department of Justice asked it to do so. But then, the committee said the DOJ withdrew its deferral last summer.

During its previous investigation, the committee interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, issued more than two dozen subpoenas, and reviewed thousands of pages of documents, it said. The committee found that some of the allegations against Gaetz had merit and discovered new matters that needed to be investigated due to those efforts.

What probes has the committee stopped? The committee said it is no longer investigating allegations:

  • That Gaetz shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor.

  • That he misused state identification records.

  • That he converted campaign funds to personal use.

  • That he accepted a bribe.

What does Gaetz have to say about this? The House Ethics Committee acknowledged that Gaetz had categorically denied all allegations against him. Gaetz, in a statement Tuesday, acknowledged that the committee had closed four lines of inquiry into his behavior but called the new lines of inquiry frivolous. He said the committee was conducting an investigation that would lead to his exoneration instead of investigating more pressing matters, like Congressional stock trading. He characterized the investigation as revenge for his actions in ousting former House Speaker McCarthy.

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta and Leo Briceno’s report in The Stew about Gaetz’s ouster of McCarthy last year.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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