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House Ethics gives new details on Gaetz investigation

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The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday provided new details on its ongoing investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz — a day after the Florida Republican publicly lashed out at the secretive panel.

The bipartisan committee, in a statement, defended its long-running probe — saying it was “confident in the integrity of the process” — and disclosed that it had conducted more than a dozen interviews, issued 25 subpoenas and received thousands of pages of documents as part of the investigation.

“Based on its review to date, the Committee has determined that certain of the allegations merit continued review. During the course of its investigation, the Committee has also identified additional allegations that merit review,” the committee said.

The committee said it is reviewing a long list of allegations against the Florida Republican, including sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, accepting improper gifts and obstructing investigations into his conduct. And it added that it’s not taking further actions “at this time” on some allegations, including that Gaetz shared inappropriate images on the House floor and accepted a bribe or “improper gratuity.”

It’s the most comprehensive accounting to date on what the notoriously private panel, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, has been doing behind the scenes on Gaetz. Typically, the committee gives only sparse details on its investigations until after they have concluded. But Gaetz had lashed out at the panel publicly the day before in a social media post, saying that it had opened “new frivolous investigations” into him.

The Ethics Committee declined to comment on the timing of the statement, including whether it was drafted specifically as a response to Gaetz or had already been in the works. Asked about the Ethics Committee statement, a spokesperson for Gaetz referred back to the Monday post on X, noting that it “speaks for itself.”

Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Instead, he has characterized the House panel’s investigation as an attempt by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his allies to get back at him for leading the California Republican’s ouster. Some of McCarthy’s allies have privately suggested trying to expel Gaetz from the House, depending on the panel’s ultimate findings.

The House Ethics Committee opened its investigation into Gaetz in 2021. It restarted its probe in May 2023 after the Justice Department concluded its own investigation into the Florida Republican without bringing charges.

Since then, there have been signs of momentum behind the scenes. POLITICO first reported in May that the committee had subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents and records.