Ethics Committee Says It’s Investigating Even More Allegations Against Matt Gaetz

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WASHINGTON — In an unusual public statement on Tuesday, the House Ethics Committee said it is expanding an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) amid allegations of sexual misconduct, drug use and a range of other eyebrow-raising claims.

The committee said it has spoken with more than a dozen witnesses, issued 25 subpoenas and reviewed thousands of pages of documents as part of its investigation. It has found that some of the allegations “merit continued review” — and identified new allegations worth investigating.

Specifically, the committee said Gaetz may have “engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, accepted improper gifts, dispensed special privileges and favors to individuals with whom he had a personal relationship, and sought to obstruct government investigations of his conduct.”

The committee said it is dropping its probe of other allegations against Gaetz, including whether he shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor; misused state identification records; converted campaign funds to personal use; and accepted a bribe or improper gratuity.

Apparently aware the ethics committee would be making a statement about its investigation, Gaetz claimed on social media on Monday afternoon that he’s been the subject of four committee probes and all were closed.

All of these investigations “emerged from lies intended solely to smear me,” Gaetz said. “They are doing this to avoid the obvious fact that every investigation into me ends the same way: my exoneration.”

The Florida Republican blamed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the ethics panel investigating him. Gaetz, a far-right loyalist of former President Donald Trump, spearheaded his party’s effort to remove McCarthy from his leadership post last year. McCarthy has since left Congress.

“This is Soviet,” Gaetz said of the latest ethics investigation. “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.”

The ethics committee launched its probe in 2021 but paused it while the Department of Justice pursued similar allegations against Gaetz until 2023, when it notified that congressman that he wouldn’t face prosecution.

In 2022, a former Gaetz associate in Florida, Joel Greenberg, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for charges that included sex trafficking a minor.

“Greenberg had met the minor on an internet website and he engaged in commercial sex acts with her on at least seven occasions when she was under the age of 18,” the Justice Department said. “Greenberg also introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts with the minor.”