New information about the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was revealed on Wednesday after the committee reportedly reached out to a woman the congressman allegedly had sexual relations with when she was a minor.
The GOP-led committee contacted a woman who allegedly had sex with Gaetz when she was 17 years old, a source told CNN, a sign that the investigation has expanded to look into allegations of sex crimes against the Florida congressman. The committee is also said to have reached out to the Justice Department requesting materials from the federal investigation into Gaetz, which was closed last year with no charges brought.
The House Ethics Committee declined to comment to the Washington Examiner.
The Florida Republican has adamantly denied any wrongdoing, including having sex with a minor or paying for sex. The Justice Department’s case looked into allegations of lobbying violations, sex trafficking, and obstruction of justice, as well as sex with a minor.
“These allegations are not true. They’ve never been true. The people who have made these allegations have been exposed, indicted, and in some cases, imprisoned,” Gaetz said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
In 2021, Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and close ally of Gaetz, pleaded guilty to six federal charges, including soliciting and paying the minor whom Gaetz allegedly had sex with. The House Ethics Committee, then controlled by Democrats, publically announced it would examine a range of allegations against Gaetz, including violations of sex trafficking laws, sharing inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, using illicit drugs, converting campaign funds to personal use, and accepting a bribe, among others.
Republican leadership has continued the investigation into the Florida Republican. In recent days, the House Ethics Committee has reportedly reached out to multiple new witnesses. Sources confirmed to ABC News that committee investigators have begun conducting interviews.
In October, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the role by Gaetz and seven other Republicans, said Gaetz’s ethics investigation “must be rather serious” to take that step in removing him. McCarthy also said during his farewell speech that the motion to vacate him was “personal” for Gaetz and “all about his ethics.”
The Justice Department’s investigation into Gaetz began after then-Attorney General Bill Barr opened a case in late 2020, looking into allegations that the congressman had sex with a minor. The investigation continued for several years before the Justice Department decided in February 2023 not to charge Gaetz.