Resolute Square

New Matt Gaetz Sex And Drug Misconduct Investigation Confirmed

Amee Vanderpool writes, "The continued review, right before another major election, has also reminded the American electorate of the important adage that should be applied particularly to this case given the many lengthy inquiries, which is 'where there is smoke, there is fire.'"
Published:June 20, 2024

Published with the generous permission of Amee Vanderpool. For more of Amee's work, visit her Shero newsletter.

By Amee Vanderpool

On Monday, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) issued a statement indicating that the House Ethics Committee had confirmed “four probes” into the Congressman’s actions, calling the claims “frivolous” and likening the investigations to Soviet Russia. This morning, the Ethics Committee released a statement confirming the new investigations stating:

“…the Committee is reviewing allegations pursuant to Committee Rules 14(a)(3) and 18(a) that Representative Gaetz may have: engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, accepted improper gifts, dispensed special privileges and favors to individuals with whom he had a personal relationship, and sought to obstruct government investigations of his conduct.”

Two years ago, the Ethics Committee launched an initial probe into Gaetz as a response to allegations of “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.”

This investigation had previously been deferred at the request of the Justice Department, so that the agency could conclude a long running inquiry into a range of allegations, including sex with a minor and sex trafficking. The Department of Justice closed its investigation into the Florida Republican in February of 2023 without filing charges.

Justice prosecutors had spent months investigating allegations that the stalwart member of the Heritage Foundation was part of an illicit scheme that led to the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl. The testimony from a former Gaetz associate, Joel Greenberg, who worked as a Florida tax collector, was the catalyst for the lengthy inquest.

Rep. Matt Gaetz shows his support to Donald Trump by attending Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan on May, 16, 2024. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/via Getty Images)

The Ethics Committee had previously deferred its own investigation into the action of Gaetz in response to a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ). But, in May of 2023, at the conclusion of the DOJ’s inquiry, the House Ethics Committee reauthorized its own probe after DOJ withdrew its deferral request. While there have been several reports of an ongoing House investigation into Gaetz, the official confirmation of a new inquiry was issued this morning, encompassing a more narrow series of allegations including sex and drug crimes.

This latest inquiry into Matt Gaetz is hardly the first time the controversial conservative has been scrutinized. Following a threatening tweet issued by Gaetz about then-president Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, the Congressman was formally admonished by the Ethics Committee.

While the 10-member panel determined that the tweet “did not violate witness tampering and obstruction of Congress laws,” they found that Gaetz’s “actions did not reflect credibly upon the House of Representatives.” At that time, Gaetz was formally admonished by the Committee, which is the lightest form of punishment one can get.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) points his finger to square off at then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy during the vote to oust McCarthy (far right) in October 2023 in the House of Representatives. (Photo by Alex Brandon/via Getty Images)

On October 1, 2023, when the DOJ inquiry was still involved in its lengthy investigation into allegations of Gaetz’s involvement in sex crimes, then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement that House Republican members would seek to expel Gaetz if the Ethics Committee Report determined there were findings of guilt.

McCarthy was removed as Speaker of the House just two days later, through a motion filed by Matt Gaetz and endorsed by Trump loyalists in the House of Representatives. The entire process made it very clear that Donald Trump was still firmly in control of the GOP, but caused a massive fracture in the Republican Party.

Following the expulsion of embattled former Representative George Santos (R-NY), and still angered by the expulsion of McCarthy and the ensuing chaos, several House Republican Caucus Members began to discuss the ramifications for Gaetz in light of the impending DOJ report. Once the Department of Justice concluded that it would not move forward on prosecution, the issue was temporarily tabled, but given this new investigation, conservatives have hardly resolved the matter.

While many of Gaetz’s supporters publicly voiced their concerns about expelling a member who had not been convicted of a crime, and the ensuing precedent that would set in Congress in modern times, Gaetz is hardly out of the woods when it comes to his tarnished reputation and his destructive actions for the whole of the Republican Party.

Donald Trump (left) stands silently next to Matt Gaetz in Florida in August 2023. (Photo via Getty Images)

In addition to more legal fees, this latest announcement of yet another inquiry into the professional and sexual misconduct of Matt Gaetz keeps the legal allegations, that Gaetz has expertly avoided, in play. The continued review, right before another major election, has also reminded the American electorate of the important adage that should be applied particularly to this case given the many lengthy inquiries, which is” “where there is smoke, there is fire.”