House Ethics Committee Intensifies Scrutiny of Rep. Gaetz

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz
Republican Representative Matt Gaetz. Credit | Getty images

United States – A three-year U. S. House probe into allegations of ethical lapses, including sexual misconduct and illicit drug use by Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, will widen to look into whether he sought to hinder the investigation, the Committee said on Tuesday.

Additional Allegations and Obstacles

The House of Representatives Ethics Committee said in a statement, “During the course of its investigation, the Committee has also identified additional allegations that merit review.” The panel pointed to “difficulty” in getting information from the congressman.

The Committee that has been probing Gaetz since April 2021 said it was closing some of the investigations into the allegations of misconduct against Gaetz, including using campaign money and state identification cards.

Gaetz, 40, is an orthopedic surgeon turned four-term northwest Florida congressman and Trump loyalist who led the charge in the 2023 coup against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He has continuously labeled all the accusations as false, as reported by Reuters.

‘The Ethics Committee is now opening new frivolous investigations,’ Gaetz said in a statement on X, castigating McCarthy, who no longer serves in Congress due to the revenge mindset. The man has been identified by Kevin McCarthy, and now they are searching for the crime.

Ongoing Investigations and Public Reporting

The committee added it was still actively investigating Gaetz’s behavior; it has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, issued 25 subpoenas, and gone through thousands of pages of documents.

In addition to the accusations of other sexual misconduct and use of drugs, the panel also is carrying out an investigation on whether he accepted improper gifts and offers a special favor and privileges to anyone he is sexually involved with, as the committee said.

“There has been a significant and unusual amount of public reporting on the Committee’s activities this Congress. Much of that reporting has been inaccurate,” the Committee said in its statement.

The panel is also investigating Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar, who was charged alongside his wife in a bribery scheme.

Other Investigations

In the past year, Republican ex-Representative George Santos was ousted from Congress following findings of the House Ethics Committee that Santos had submitted or omitted material information on campaign finance statements, misused campaign funds, and engaged in fraud, as reported by Reuters.