The House Ethics Committee announced on Friday that it is opening an investigation into GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Friday following allegations of illegal drug use and sharing nude photos of young women with his colleagues on the House floor.
“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, according to Politico.
The Ethics probe comes on the heels of a bombshell report by The New York Times that the Department of Justice is investigating the Florida Republican 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.
Gaetz, 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 and has asserted he has no plans to step down from his congressional seat.
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.