The House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz is gaining momentum as it recently contacted several new witnesses. These developments are part of the ongoing inquiry into the Florida congressman, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Recently, the Republican-led Ethics Committee has been reaching out to additional individuals connected to the initial Justice Department investigation into Gaetz. These sources indicated that the committee has started conducting interviews.
The investigation by the House committee was reactivated last July, following a hiatus during the Justice Department’s separate, extensive investigation. The Justice Department’s probe, which concluded in 2023 without filing charges against Gaetz, had led the Ethics Committee to initially defer its inquiry.
In response to the latest actions of the Ethics Committee, Gaetz commented to ABC News, saying, “It’s great to see the Ethics Committee has interests beyond trading stocks. They seem to be quite the unusual whales.” He had previously criticized the committee when the investigation was resumed, accusing it of exploiting its process.
The Ethics Committee members have chosen not to respond to ABC News’ requests for comments on the investigation.
Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Gaetz who received an 11-year prison sentence after admitting to multiple federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor, is represented by attorney Fritz Schiller. Schiller declined to confirm or deny any interactions with the House Ethics Committee regarding this matter.
Gaetz has consistently maintained his innocence, asserting that he was exonerated by the Department of Justice and the FBI after their prolonged investigation. He remarked, “I think all the days in Congress, there are probably in the seven years I’ve been in Congress, there have only been tens of days when I haven’t been under one form of ethics investigation or another. I’ve never been found to have violated any ethical laws. I won’t be found to have violated them in this matter either.”
This escalation in the Gaetz investigation follows the recent expulsion of Representative George Santos from Congress. The Ethics Committee had released a damning report against Santos, accusing him of exploiting his political position to commit fraud.
As the committee shifts its focus back to Gaetz, more interviews and document requests related to the investigation are anticipated in the upcoming weeks.