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The Republican House Ethics Committee Reopens Investigation Against Representative Matt Gaetz on Allegations of Sexual Misconducts

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Matt Gaetz
Source: BBC/X

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida have been the subject of controversy. Gaetz, a Republican and friend of former President Donald Trump, has faced accusations ranging from sexual relationships with minors to sex trafficking.

The allegations against Gaetz first arose in March 2021. The New York Times had reported that the Justice Department was investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. It was alleged that he paid her to travel with him, thereby violating federal sex trafficking laws. 

However, Gaetz denied these allegations, claiming that they were part of a politically motivated smear campaign against him. Additionally, Gaetz also faced other accusations of sexual misconduct. Several women came forward publicly to allege claims of unwanted advances and encounters at parties.

In July 2023, the House Ethics Committee, which is responsible for upholding ethical standards among its members, launched an investigation into Gaetz’s conduct. The House probe was reopened in July after the conclusion of a year’s probe by the Justice Department.

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ALSO READ: Rep Gaetz House Ethics Probe Ramps Up as Committee Invites New Witnesses

The Ethics Committee had initially held off its investigation at the request of the Justice Department, which conducted its investigations on Gaetz. The Justice Department’s investigation ended without charges being filed against Gaetz. Despite this, the Ethics Committee has begun its investigation into the matter.

The committee contacted several new witnesses as part of its ongoing investigations. According to sources, the committee contacted individuals connected to the initial Justice Department investigation into Gaetz.

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Sources claimed that a close friend of Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to federal charges, was contacted. According to reports, Greenberg has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors by providing information and assistance in their investigation.

However, Gaetz seems to be handling the probe well. In a statement to ABC News, the Republican said, “It’s great to see the Ethics Committee has interests beyond trading stocks. They seem to be quite the unusual whales.”

At first, when he heard about the reopening of the probe, he criticized the committee. He accused them of trying to weaponize their process. He viewed the investigation as politically motivated and aimed at targeting him unfairly.

ALSO READ: Michigan State University Bans Mel Tucker From Future Employment Over Sexual Misconduct

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“I was cleared by the Department of Justice and the FBI, who looked into my life for years,” Gaetz said. “Now, I believe that the House Ethics Committee is trying to weaponize their process against me because every once in a while up here I’m a rabble-rouser and I don’t go along to get along. And right now, I’m forcing this body to have to deal with our debt and our spending.”

Gaetz believes the investigation is used as a tool to discredit his credibility. “I think all the days in Congress; there are probably in the seven years I’ve been in Congress, there have only been tens of days when I haven’t been under one form of ethics investigation or another. I’ve never been found to have violated any ethical laws. I won’t be found to have violated them in this matter either,” he said.

Again, Gaetz has consistently denied all allegations levied against him. He maintained that the allegations are politically aimed to tarnish his reputation. The committee has since refused to make a statement regarding the probe.

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