The House Ethics Committee leadership has launched an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) amidst a sexual misconduct allegation that has emerged in recent weeks.
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, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.
The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that Gaetz, 38, is facing a Department of Justice investigation into whether he paid for sex and whether he engaged in sex with a 17-year-old girl. The DOJ investigation reportedly began last year and “grew out of an open investigation into” Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector “who was indicted last year on a charge of sex trafficking and other counts,” according to The New York Times.
Gaetz has denied wrongdoing, writing in a Washington Examiner op-ed: “I have never, ever paid for sex. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.” Jilliane Layne Wyant, a top aide to Gaetz, told The Washington Post on Friday: “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.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Gaetz has also alleged that he and his family are the victims of an extortion attempt by a former official at the Department of Justice. The ex-official, David McGhee, has called the extortion allegation “completely, totally false.”
In August 2021, however, a man was indicted for an alleged extortion attempt against Gaetz’s father.
“The indictment alleges that in March and April of this year, [Stephen] Alford attempted to get Gaetz’s wealthy father, Don, to pay the large sum as part of a complex deal dubbed ‘Project Homecoming,'” POLITICO reported. “The scheme Alford promoted would also have funded a private effort to rescue a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, Robert Levinson.”
The ethics committee’s decision to investigate Gaetz comes in close proximity to an announcement about Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).
Back in March, The Washington Post reported that Reed, during a 2017 outing at a pub, was being accused of unhooking the bra of Nicolette Davis, who was at the time a 25-year-old lobbyist. Reed initially said Davis’ account of his actions was inaccurate.
Several days later, Reed issued a public apology, said that his personal depiction of the events wasn’t relevant, and said that he had been struggling with alcoholism at the time. He also said that he planned to make amends for actions in his past and help others struggling with addiction. “As I go forward, I will strive to be a better human being, continue to fight for what I believe in, and to make people’s lives better in any way I can. I hope this formal apology is just the start,” said Reed.
This article has been updated to include additional information.