Ethics Panel to Investigate Matt Gaetz

Florida lawmaker hires a pair of defense lawyers
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2021 3:58 PM CDT
House Panel to Open Its Own Gaetz Probe
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington last June.   (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File)

Rep. Matt Gaetz now faces another investigation, this one by the House Ethics Committee. The Florida Republican already is being investigated by the Justice Department on sex trafficking allegations. The Democratic-controlled committee's announcement Friday referred to a list of accusations against Gaetz, the Washington Post reports, involving "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, illegal drug use." His office released a new statement Friday, per CNBC, saying, "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, who has not been charged and has said he won't resign, hired a couple of New York lawyers, his office said Friday: Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner. Mukasey has represented the Trump Organization in tax investigations, per WNBC, and was a federal prosecutor in New York. He defended Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL acquitted of killing a wounded prisoner in Iraq. Mukasey's father, Michael, was attorney general under President George W. Bush. Kirshner's clients have included former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who stepped down after allegations that he'd physically assaulted women. Gaetz's office said the two lawyers "will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods." (More Matt Gaetz stories.)

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