U.S. House ethics panel adds allegations to Matt Gaetz investigation

Republished from Kentucky Lantern

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Ethics Committee released a statement Tuesday saying it has “identified additional allegations that merit review” based on its investigation of prior allegations that Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz had inappropriate sexual relationships and violated rules by accepting gifts.

The committee is investigating allegations that 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.”

Gaetz’s office referred to a post on X, formerly Twitter, in response to States Newsroom’s request for comment.

Gaetz called the additional allegations the committee is reviewing “new frivolous investigations,” but did not elaborate what those new investigations were.

“Representative Gaetz has categorically denied all of the allegations before the Committee,” the committee statement said.

“Notwithstanding the difficulty in obtaining relevant information from Representative Gaetz and others, the Committee has spoken with more than a dozen witnesses, issued 25 subpoenas, and reviewed thousands of pages of documents in this matter,” the statement added.

The House Ethics Committee did not respond to States Newsroom’s request for comment about the new investigations.

The committee began its investigation in Gaetz in 2021 after multiple reports from the Daily Beast alleged the Florida Republican engaged in sex trafficking and illicit drug use. CNN also reported Gaetz showed naked photos of women he claimed to have slept with to other lawmakers while on the House floor.

The committee referred the case to the Department of Justice, which the agency requested as it looked into whether Gaetz had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl and if his involvement with other women violated prostitution and federal sex trafficking laws.

The Justice Department later declined to move forward with charges and after that announcement, the House committee took up the investigation again last year.

Some allegations the committee is not taking any further action on include “allegations that he may have 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.”

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of an investigation into these allegations does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred,” the committee said.

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https://kentuckylantern.com/2024/06/18/u-s-house-ethics-panel-adds-allegations-to-matt-gaetz-investigation/