Sex Scandal

Matt Gaetz named as subject of House Ethics Committee probe

Florida Republican is under investigation by federal authorities into whether he violated federal sex-trafficking laws

The Ethics probe comes on the heels of The New York Times first reporting that the Florida Republican is being investigated by the Department of Justice for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl

.politics
POLITICS PRESS GROUP

The House Ethics Committee said it has begun an investigation into allegations involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.), citing a host of alleged abuses including sexual misconduct, the sharing of inappropriate images or videos on the House floor and the improper conversion of campaign funds to personal use. The panel disclosed its probe as scrutiny intensifies around the Florida Republican, who has denied wrongdoing and said he won’t resign.

Writing earlier this week in the Washington Examiner, he said, “my personal life is and always has been conducted on my own time and my own dime.”

And he added: “I will not be intimidated or extorted.”

"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 panel said in a statement announcing it is beginning an investigation to gather additional information.

"The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee," the statement noted.

The Ethics probe comes on the heels of The New York Times first reporting that the Florida Republican is being investigated by the Department of Justice for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl and a possible violation of sex trafficking laws.

A second Times report included allegations Gaetz and his friend, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, paid multiple women who were recruited for sex online where illegal drugs may have been present.

Since the initial Times report, a slew of other allegations emerged including a CNN report stating the Republican congressman showed other members pictures of nude women on the House Floor.

“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,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement in response to the Ethics probe.

Gaetz — a conservative firebrand who rose in prominence as one of former President Trump’s most vocal defenders and made a name for himself as a regular on right-wing television networks — has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

He alleges that he and his family have been targeted in an extortion scheme from a former DOJ official seeking millions of dollars to make the accusations disappear.

The DOJ official, David McGee, has denied any connection to an extortion scheme.

Greenberg’s lawyers said in court on Thursday they expect their client to strike a plea deal — a move that could potentially place more pressure on Gaetz.

Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes at this point, but has hired two top defense attorneys as the investigation continues.

The GOP lawmaker has asserted he has no plans to step down from his congressional seat.

Read more

Jeff Sessions claims he’s clueless about his DOJ’s snooping on Congress

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.

Watchdog investigates seizure of Democrats’ phone data

The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.

“Next time I’m in the White House”

Donald Trump has appeared to drop his strongest hint yet at another presidential run in 2024, responding to news of his two-year ban from Facebook on Friday by saying he would not invite Mark Zuckerberg to dinner “next time I’m in the White House”.

No evidence UFOs were alien – but doesn’t rule it out

US intelligence authorities have not found any evidence that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen by navy pilots in recent years were otherworldly alien spacecraft– but apparently did not rule it out, either.