The House Committee on Ethics said Friday that it had launched two separate investigations into the sexual misconduct allegations against Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.).
Gaetz is currently under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her ― and other young women ― to travel across state lines for sex. Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether Gaetz used any federal campaign money to make these alleged payments.
Gaetz has also been accused of showing photos and videos of nude women while on the House floor and of taking the drug ecstasy.
The Ethics Committee said in a statement that it was “aware of public allegations” that 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 committee said it was also aware of allegations that Reed “may have engaged in sexual misconduct.” Reed has been accused by former lobbyist Nicolette Davis of groping her in 2017.
In a statement last month, Reed apologized for his “unprofessional” behavior and any pain he may have caused Davis.
He added that he would not run for any elected position when his current congressional term expires in 2022. Reed had been considering a run for New York governor.
Gaetz has denied the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him, insisting in a recent op-ed that he’d never paid for sex or, “as an adult man … slept with a 17-year-old.”
The New York Times reported last week that Gaetz had sought a blanket, preemptive pardon from former President Donald Trump during the final days of the Trump presidency; it appears that nothing came of those entreaties.
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