The House Ethics Committee has announced on Friday that it will investigate the allegations that Florida Representative Matt Gaetz engaged in illegal conduct with a minor and violated House rules.
Gaetz, who is also being investigated by the Department Of Justice, is alleged to have been sexually involved with a seventeen year old girl and paid for her travel expenses out of state.
“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in 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,” Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking Republican member Jackie Walorsky of Indiana, said in a joint statement on Friday.
Gaetz is not the only one facing ethics and misconduct charges. New York GOP Representative Tom Reed has also been targeted for possible charges of sexual misconduct, as has Joel Greensburg, an associate of Gaetz. Greensburg may seek to strike a deal with federal prosecutors. After the allegations against him became public, Representative Reed apologized, said he took full responsibility for his actions, and would not be be re-seeking office at the end of his term.
Gaetz has denied all charges against him. “The smears against me range from my personal life to wild, and I mean wild conspiracy theories,” Gaetz said at the recent Women For America First Summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort in south Miami.
In an earlier statement, Gaetz’s office said, “Once again, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them.”
Gaetz is also alleged to have sought a pardon from Trump before he left office.
Sources: The Week, CNN.