House Ethics Panel Probing Alleged Gaetz Obstruction, Misconduct

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 - 11:35 PM

Authored by Samantha Flom via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The House Ethics Committee, in a rare statement on June 18, announced that it is investigating new claims of misconduct against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), including whether he sought to obstruct government probes of his conduct.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) leaves a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 3, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The statement was issued a day after the congressman blasted the Ethics Committee over what he called a political attack.

The committee defended its investigation, saying it was “confident in the integrity of its process,” which has involved interviewing dozens of witnesses, reviewing thousands of pages of documents, and issuing 25 subpoenas to date.

The secretive committee began examining a litany of allegations against Mr. Gaetz in April 2021 before deferring its work at the request of the Justice Department. When that request was dropped in May of last year, the committee resumed its work.

Previous claims against Mr. Gaetz included allegations of sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, sharing inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misuse of state identification records, personal use of campaign funds, and accepting a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift.

“Based on its review to date, the Committee has determined that certain of the allegations merit continued review,” the panel said in a statement, noting that it would extend its probe of the claims surrounding sexual misconduct, drug use, and improper gifts.

The committee said it will take no further action on the other claims, though it said new allegations had surfaced that merit review. Those include the obstruction claims and accusations that Mr. Gaetz offered special privileges and favors to people with whom he had a personal relationship.

Mr. Gaetz has categorically denied all the allegations against him, which stemmed from a Justice Department investigation into whether he and fellow Florida Republican Joel Greenberg paid or offered gifts to underage girls and escorts for sex.

Mr. Gaetz was not charged in that investigation.

Prior to the committee’s statement, the congressman suggested the panel’s ongoing investigations were retribution for his role in ousting former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the House speakership last October.

“Instead of working with me to ban Congressional stock trading, the Ethics Committee is now opening new frivolous investigations. They are doing this to avoid the obvious fact that every investigation into me ends the same way: my exoneration,” the congressman wrote on X.

“This is Soviet. Kevin McCarthy showed them the man, and they are now trying to find the crime. I work for Northwest Floridians who won’t be swayed by this nonsense and McCarthy and his goons know it.”

Mr. Gaetz spearheaded efforts to strip Mr. McCarthy of the gavel, which eventually succeeded with the help of seven other Republicans and 208 Democrats. Many Republican members remain angry over that move, which some say hurt the party politically. The Ethics panel’s investigations predate the current GOP House majority.

The Ethics Committee did not respond to a request for comment by press time. A spokesperson for Mr. Gaetz said that his social media post speaks for itself.