Matt Gaetz, House GOP Token Troublemaker Caught Escalating Ethics Probe Lead Expulsion
"House Ethics Committee probe of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz widens with ABC News reporting "multiple new witnesses" in investigation."
The House Ethics Committee has expanded its investigation into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, with ABC News reporting that "multiple new witnesses" have been contacted in the probe. The committee initially deferred the investigation following a request from the Department of Justice but has since widened its scope. The investigation centers on allegations of sex trafficking and lobbying violations by Gaetz.
A grand jury previously investigated whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him, but ultimately recommended not moving forward with trafficking charges. The House committee's investigators have now expanded their contact with individuals who have ties to the initial Justice Department investigation into Gaetz.
The federal investigation into Gaetz was first opened in March 2021 and reportedly involved three separate alleged crimes: sex trafficking a 17-year-old, violating the Mann Act, and obstruction of justice. The probe spun out of another investigation into Joel Greenberg, Gaetz's friend and former GOP official from Florida, who was indicted on charges including sex trafficking of a child.
The House Ethics Committee first announced its investigation into Gaetz in April 2021, citing allegations of sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, and misuse of campaign funds. Gaetz has consistently denied any wrongdoing, claiming that the case against him is rooted in an extortion effort. Despite the ongoing investigations, Gaetz has maintained his innocence.