Matt Gaetz, AmericaFest
Rep. Matt Gaetz (D-FL) at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday that it would end some of the investigations into the behavior of MAGA firebrand Matt Gaetz (R-FL) but begin others.

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The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday that some of the allegations levied against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) “merit continued review.” These include charges that the right-wing firebrand engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use.

In addition, the panel’s probe has also raised new concerns about Gaetz’s behavior.

“During the course of its investigation, the Committee has also identified additional allegations that merit review,” the committee stated.

Gaetz has vehemently denied all allegations, and the Department of Justice declined to prosecute him last year. Ironically, this has not made him stop talking about the department’s weaponization against Republicans.

While it is not easy to parse the statement of the notoriously tight-lipped panel, it seems as though one of these new concerns is an effort to obstruct the investigation.

“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 documents in this matter,” the statement said.

In addition, “obstructing government investigations of his conduct,” was not among the list of the initial allegations, which also included accepting improper gifts, favoritism, and using campaign funds for personal benefit.

The committee announced that it is no longer looking into some of these charges, such as whether Gaetz accepted bribes or “shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor.”

Still, the lawmaker is not pleased with the continued investigation.

“The House Ethics Committee has closed four probes into me, which emerged from lies intended solely to smear me,” he tweeted. “Instead of working with me to ban Congressional stock trading, the Ethics Committee is now opening new frivolous investigations.”

In a very Trumpian response, the lawmaker also stated that every investigation into him ends with his exoneration.

“This is Soviet. Kevin McCarthy showed them the man, and they are now trying to find the crime,” wrote Gaetz, referring to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), whom he helped to oust. “I work for Northwest Floridians who won’t be swayed by this nonsense and McCarthy and his goons know it.”

Because of Gaetz’s national profile, the ethics investigation has not only attracted a lot of attention but also rampant speculation about the lawmaker’s behavior, whether he is guilty, and, if so, what the punishment might be.

The committee tried to put that to rest.

“There has been a significant and unusual amount of public reporting on the Committee’s activities this Congress,” the panel stated. “Much of that reporting has been inaccurate.”

While the committee noted that it adheres to strict confidentiality rules, it also stated that these rules do not preclude witnesses from talking about what they know about particular investigations, i.e., which questions they were asked or which documents they were asked to provide.


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