House Ethics Committee launches investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz

The House Ethics Committee said Friday it launched investigations into Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

Apr 10, 2021 - 14:17
Apr 10, 2021 - 14:25
House Ethics Committee launches investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz
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The House Ethics Committee said Friday it launched an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, the embattled Florida Republican who was already facing a federal criminal sex-trafficking probe.

In a statement, the ethics committee said it is aware of public allegations that Gaetz “may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use.”

The panel also noted that Gaetz is alleged to 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, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct.”

Gaetz, 38, has vigorously denied wrongdoing since the Department of Justice’s investigation first came to light last week. He has not been charged with a crime.

“Once again, the office will reiterate, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them,” Gaetz’s office told CNBC in response to the new ethics probe.

The Democrat-led ethics panel also revealed Friday that it has begun a probe into Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., citing allegations of possible sexual misconduct.

Last month, Reed apologized to a woman who accused him of rubbing her back and unhooking her bra at a Minneapolis bar in 2017. Reed said he would not seek reelection in 2022.

Reed’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment but said in a statement to Politico: “We have already publicly addressed this situation and consistent with that are cooperating with the House Ethics Committee to bring this matter to conclusion.”

The Ethics Committee’s press releases, attributed to Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and ranking member Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., both noted that an investigation “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”

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