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McCarthy says Gaetz effort to remove him from Speaker is related to gaslighting the Ethics Committee


During a CNN interview on Sunday, Congressman Matt Gaetz emphatically denied any wrongdoing, stating, "I am the most investigated man in the United States Congress. He has denied any connection between his efforts to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the ongoing ethics complaint against him.


The House Ethics Committee initiated an investigation in 2021 during the Democratic majority, focusing on various allegations. The current status of the probe remains unclear, with reports suggesting that it is ongoing but no official confirmation from the committee.


The allegations against Gaetz included sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, sharing inappropriate content on the House floor, misusing state identification records, and the potential conversion of campaign funds for personal use or acceptance of improper gifts in violation of House rules and standards of conduct.


When contacted, the committee's current chairman, Representative Michael Guest (R-Miss.), refrained from commenting due to the Ethics Committee's Confidentiality Rule. Gaetz publicly stated that he never asked McCarthy to interfere in any ethics matter.


The issue surfaced again when McCarthy introduced a 45-day clean stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown, garnering support from both Republicans and Democrats, and signed by President Biden. Gaetz has now renewed his threat to introduce a motion to vacate and remove McCarthy from the position of House Speaker.


The Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission, both unanimously cleared me of any accusations. In fact, those who spread false criminal allegations against me are currently incarcerated. So, I don't mind being investigated by anyone and everyone."


Gaetz vehemently refuted McCarthy's claims, accusing him of gaslighting the Ethics Committee in his public statements about Gaetz's alleged request for intervention in an ethics complaint. McCarthy, on the other hand, remains confident in his ability to weather Gaetz's attempts to remove him from office. Gaetz officially introduced the motion to vacate on Monday evening.


"This is personal for Matt," he stated. "He's more interested in securing TV interviews than actually accomplishing something. He even threatened his own district with a potential shutdown, disregarding the well-being of military personnel who would not receive pay. Let him bring it on. It's time to put this behind us and focus on effective governance."


This marks the second time the Ethics Committee has scrutinized Gaetz. In 2019, a complaint was filed against him regarding allegations that he attempted to intimidate Michael Cohen, the former attorney of then-President Trump, prior to Cohen's testimony before a congressional committee.


Gaetz had tweeted from his unofficial Twitter account a day before the hearing, prompting concerns about his behavior. While the Committee formally admonished Gaetz for his unprofessional conduct, he promptly apologized, and the matter has since been closed. The Committee has reminded Members to exercise discretion when using social media, as they are not tasked with policing such platforms.

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