House Ethics Panel to Investigate Gaetz

April 9, 2021 by Dan McCue
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file image from video, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks as the House reconvenes to debate the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Arizona, after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol. (House Television via AP)

WASHINGTON – The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the recent flood of allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., including that he broke sex trafficking laws, shared graphic images of women with lawmakers on the House floor, and misused campaign funds.

In a brief news release, the committee said it is “aware of the public allegations against Gaetz and that it will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”

It listed those allegations as follows:

  • Sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use; 
  • Shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor;
  • Misused state identification records; 
  • Converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or 
  • Accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct. 

The Committee noted that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the panel. 

At least some of what the panel is investigating is expected to overlap with a Justice Department inquiry into the 38-year-old  three-term congressman.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz broke sex trafficking laws by having sex with a 17-year-old girl in exchange for something of value, and whether he paid adult women for sex, including while under the influence of illicit drugs. Gaetz has denied he ever had sex with a minor or paid for sex.

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