Rep. Matt Gaetz faces House Ethics probe amid sex traffic investigation

Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, listens during a markup on H.R. 7120, the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” on June 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Erin Scott | Getty Images

The House Ethics Committee on Friday said it launched an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, the embattled Florida Republican who is facing a federal sex-trafficking investigation.

The Democrat-led ethics panel also said it has begun a probe into Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., citing allegations of possible sexual misconduct by the congressman.

In a statement announcing the investigation into Gaetz, the committee said it is aware of public allegations that the GOP lawmaker “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.”

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The two statements revealing apparently separate probes into Gaetz and Reed both noted that an investigation “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”

The press releases were attributed to Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and ranking member Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.

“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 to CNBC.

The public relations firm Gaetz retained this week did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reed’s spokesman did not immediately provide comment.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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