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Gaetz attacks GOP House Ethics chair amid investigation

In World
February 24, 2024

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, fired away at the committee’s top Republican during a speech at Conservative Political Action Conference Friday.

“Word is, I now have problems with the Ethics Committee,” the Florida Republican and close ally of former President Donald Trump said. “Which seems really odd to me because I’m the one screaming loudest for actual ethics reforms.”

The House Ethics Committee is reportedly investigating Gaetz for alleged sex crimes. Its probe comes after the Justice Department last year closed its investigation into the Florida representative without filing charges. The DOJ was examining whether Gaetz paid women for sex and traveled overseas to parties attended by underage teens.

Gaetz maintained that he did nothing wrong and has characterized the Ethics Committee probe as payback for leading the effort to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

During his CPAC session entitled “Burning Down the House,” Gaetz directed attacks at House Ethics chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.) over stock trading, which Guest has reported on his financial disclosures. Gaetz said Guest has “become a brilliant stock trader while in office.”

“For the same reason you don’t let the umpire bet on the game, members of Congress should not be allowed to trade individual stocks,” Gaetz said. “How about the Ethics Committee take up those reforms?”

Guest’s team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 2021, Guest alerted the Ethics Committee, which he served on at the time, of a family stock he failed to disclose, according to Business Insider. Guest paid a $200 fine for disclosing the stock eight months late. However, Gaetz did not reference the past issue and only his recent stock trading.

“When I offer these critiques that include the conduct of some fellow Republicans I catch a lot of heat,” Gaetz said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to just fight the Democrats but if the Republicans are going to dress up like Democrats in drag then I will lead the fight against them too.”

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