Ethics Committee investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz over alleged drug use and sexual misconduct

The House panel is continuing its review of Gaetz's conduct, including possible obstruction. The Florida Republican has denied any wrongdoing.

Matt Gaetz
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The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it is continuing to review several allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., including that he engaged in sexual misconduct and illegal drug use.

The bipartisan panel, which investigates ethics complaints, said in a lengthy statement it is also examining whether Gaetz “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 will take no further action regarding allegations that he “shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe or improper gratuity.”

Gaetz, a top Donald Trump ally on Capitol Hill, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. In a post on X on Monday night, Gaetz pointed out that past Ethics investigations into him have resulted in "exoneration."

“The House Ethics Committee has closed four probes into me, which emerged from lies intended solely to smear me. 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," wrote Gaetz.

Gaetz, who led the successful effort last fall to overthrow then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blamed the former speaker and his allies who have sought retribution.

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

Even months after his ouster, McCarthy has repeatedly accused Gaetz of going after him to stop the ethics investigation.

The Ethics panel first began looking into allegations that Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use in 2021, when Democrats controlled the House.

The committee is now led by Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., who was appointed by McCarthy after he won the speaker's gavel. The panel said Tuesday it has had "difficulty" obtaining information from Gaetz but made its decision to move forward after speaking with more than a dozen witnesses, issuing 25 subpoenas and reviewing thousands of pages of documents.

“Based on its review to date, the Committee has determined that certain of the allegations merit continued review,” the panel said.

The FBI had spent years investigating Gaetz's personal conduct, specifically allegations that he was part of a scheme that led to the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.

But in February 2023, the Justice Department informed Gaetz it was ending its investigation without charging him with any crimes. 

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