The House Ethics Committee has stated that it is aware of the many public allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz and will be investigating the scandals. The Democratic and Republican leadership of the ethics committee both agree to probe Gaetz to determine his culpability in the charges leveled against him even though federal investigators are also putting him on the hot seat.
Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch and Jackie Walorski said Gaetz may have violated several House rules on the strength of the allegations and must be probed to preserve the sanctity of the House.
“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,” the committee said.
Some of the allegations against the representative are that he paid to have sex with a 17-year-old girl and also paid several women with cash and drugs to have sex with them. He is accused of engaging in sex trafficking and prostitution with several of his friends, including Joel Greenberg who faces a prison sentence if he loses his case in court. But then Greenberg’s attorneys said he will strike a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in a move that can nail Gaetz if he couldn’t wiggle out, AP News reports.
Apart from these, Gaetz is also accused of watching and sharing porn with some lawmakers while the House is in session. A CNN report indicates that two House sources confessed to having obtained nude images of women from Gaetz during House sitting, and the House Ethics Committee said this must be investigated to establish the truth. But then, the committee said it might hold off on its investigations to enable the ongoing federal investigations against the embattled lawmaker to conclude.
Gaetz however denied the charges against him, saying they are all a smear campaign to tarnish his image and his good works. “I have not yet begun to fight,” he declared. “I’m built for the battle, and I’m not going anywhere. The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories.”
His legal team – led by Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner – said the lawmaker will fight the allegations against him in court. “Matt has always been a fighter,” his lawyers said. “A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him.”
His office insisted that “these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them.”