House Ethics Committee opens probe into Matt Gaetz and Tom Reed over sexual misconduct allegations

Probes are into potential "sexual misconduct" and sharing of "inappropriate images or videos on the House floor"

By Zachary Petrizzo
April 9, 2021 9:55PM (UTC)
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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is now facing a second investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct with minors, this one launched by the House Ethics Committee on Friday afternoon.

This all stems from allegations that Gaetz partook in sex trafficking and paid a minor for sex. "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 House Ethics Committee wrote in a press release. "The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations," the Democrat committee chairman from Florida, Rep. Ted Deutch, and ranking Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski, further stated in the letter. 

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The letter was careful to note that the investigation launched by the House committee "does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee."

The news comes on the heels of Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., calling for Gaetz's resignation on Friday morning. "Matt Gaetz needs to resign," he tweeted, citing a Daily Beast report that alledges the Florida congressman sent $900 through the cash application Venmo by sending the money through embattled Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg in May of 2018.

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Additionally, on Friday, Gaetz hired high-profile New York lawyers Marc Mukasey, and Isabelle Kirshner as the Department of Justice looks into his actions, according to New York Daily News.   

The same committee also announced they had launched an investigation into GOP Rep. Tom Reed, over allegations of "sexual misconduct."

In a statement the legislative body wrote: "The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Tom Reed may have engaged in sexual misconduct, 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."

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The probe into the actions of Reed comes a month after a Washington Post report laid out accusations that the congressman harassed lobbyist Nicolette Davis. "A drunk congressman is rubbing my back," The Washington Post reported Davis had texted a friend while on a congressional networking trip with the congressman in 2017. "Reed, his hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp, Davis told The Post. He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward, she said."


Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo is a staff writer at Salon. He previously covered politics at Mediaite and The Daily Dot. Follow him on Twitter @ZTPetrizzo. Send him tips: zpetrizzo@salon.com

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House Ethics Committee Matt Gaetz Republicans Scandal Tom Reed