- The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it was launching an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz.
- The committee cited allegations of sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, and reports that he showed photos of nude women to colleagues.
- The committee also opened an investigation into Rep. Tom Reed for alleged sexual misconduct.
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The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it was launching an investigation into GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida over allegations of sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, and reports that he showed photos of nude women to colleagues on the House floor.
The committee also opened an investigation into Rep. Tom Reed over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Friday’s announcement comes as Gaetz is under federal criminal investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor and broke sex-trafficking laws.
The Ethics Committee investigation into Gaetz also covers whether the Florida representative used campaign cash for personal use and allegations of bribery and impermissible gifts. Several House members, including at least one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have called for Gaetz to resign.
Gaetz’s office released a statement responding to news of the ethics committee probe, saying, “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.”
On Thursday, lawyers representing the former Florida tax collector and Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg told a judge that he is on the cusp of a plea agreement. Greenberg was indicted on 33 counts as part of the wide-ranging sex-trafficking investigation, and his potential cooperation with prosecutors is a seismic development given his long friendship with Gaetz and knowledge of the activities being scrutinized.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations against him and insists the department’s investigation is part of an elaborate and convoluted scheme to extort his family for $25 million.
Reed, meanwhile, was accused of groping a former lobbyist at a bar in 2017, and apologized for his actions in March, adding that he wouldn’t run for another term in 2022.
“We have already publicly addressed this situation and consistent with that are cooperating with the House Ethics Committee to bring this matter to conclusion,” Reed told Politico reporter Nicholas Wu on Friday after the investigation was announced.
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