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Ethics Committee Reaffirms Probe Into Matt Gaetz for ‘Sexual Misconduct’

The committee is continuing a number of its investigations into Gaetz while taking “no further action” on four other allegations.

Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference. Alex Brandon/AP

After Rep. Matt Gaetz said the House Ethics Committee was opening a new investigation into him on Monday, the committee confirmed Tuesday that it is, indeed, continuing to look into the Florida Republican for a number of allegations, including “sexual misconduct and illicit drug use.”

In late 2020, the Department of Justice began investigating Gaetz over allegations that he had sex trafficked a minor. The DOJ announced in February 2023 that it was effectively closing the investigation without bringing charges. That freed up the Ethics Committee to recommence its own probe into Gaetz, after the Ethics panel had paused its investigation to defer the matter to the DOJ.

Now, more than a year later, the Ethics Committee said Tuesday it was still looking into allegations that Gaetz “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.”

At the same time, the Ethics Committee said it would “take no further action at this time on the allegations that he may have shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe or improper gratuity.”

Gaetz has denied all of the allegations, but there have been numerous reports about Gaetz having sex with a 17-year-old when he was in his mid-30s. One of the men allegedly part of the sex ring that Gaetz reportedly belonged to was Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector and associate of Gaetz who is currently serving an 11-year jail sentence for underage sex trafficking. (Gaetz also Venmo’d Greenberg $900 in May 2018, who then Venmo’d three women, collectively, $900.)

At the end of 2020, Greenberg wrote a confession letter as part of an effort to get a pardon by then-President Donald Trump, in which he claimed that he and Gaetz had sex with a then-underage teen girl.

“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote, referring to the teenage girl and Gaetz.

The Ethics Committee said on Tuesday that it is having “difficulty in obtaining relevant information from Representative Gaetz and others,” likely referring to the DOJ, which has been reportedly “stonewalling” the committee. The committee has even discussed possibly subpoenaing the DOJ for information relevant to its probe, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Still, the committee said investigators had “spoken with more than a dozen witnesses, issued 25 subpoenas, and reviewed thousands of pages of documents in this matter.”

Over the course of that review, “the Committee has determined that certain of the allegations merit continued review” and has also “identified additional allegations that merit review.”

When reached for comment, a Gaetz spokesperson referred NOTUS to a post on X from the congressman.

“The House Ethics Committee has closed four probes into me, which emerged from lies intended solely to smear me,” Gaetz said in a post on X on Monday. “Instead of working with me to ban Congressional stock trading, the Ethics Committee is now opening new frivolous investigations. They are doing this to avoid the obvious fact that every investigation into me ends the same way: my exoneration. This is Soviet. Kevin McCarthy showed them the man, and they are now trying to find the crime. I work for Northwest Floridians who won’t be swayed by this nonsense and McCarthy and his goons know it.”

Reese Gorman is a reporter at NOTUS.