Rare body counting as many Democrats as Republicans, the ethics committee of the United States House of Representatives announced, Friday, April 9, the opening of an investigation against the elected Republican pro-Donald Trump Matt Gaetz. It “Became aware of the charges in the public domain” targeting the 38-year-old ex-lawyer, its members write in a statement.
The US Department of Justice is investigating suspicions of“Sexual exploitation of a minor” weighing on the parliamentarian, rising star of the conservatives, according to several American media.
Federal police are reportedly looking into the nature of his relationship with a 17-year-old Florida teenager, and whether he paid her for sexual favors. The law in this state, which he represents in the House, fixes the sexual majority at 18 years.
“Outlandish conspiracy theories”, according to the person concerned
Matt Gaetz strongly denied the charges and was not charged. Despite the scandal, he spoke on Friday at a rally at Donald Trump’s golf club in Miami, where he told a group of pro-Trump women he would not go. ” nowhere “.
“My slander ranges from distorting my personal life to outlandish conspiracy theories – and I say eccentric “Matt Gaetz told his Republican supporters. “I will not be intimidated by lying media, he added. The truth will prevail. “
In addition to these facts, the committee says it is examining other allegations against the parliamentarian, suspected, it lists in its press release, “Illicit use of narcotics, having shared displaced images or videos in the hemicycle, having misappropriated identification documents, used campaign funds for personal use, and / or accepted a bribe” wine, an improper sum of money or a gift not allowed in violation of the rules of the House ”.
“The commission recalls that the mere fact that it investigates these accusations, and reveals it publicly, does not in itself mean that an offense has been committed”, she continues.
Tom Reed also under investigation
From the publication of the first articles on the investigation targeting him, last week, Matt Gaetz had claimed that his family had been the victim of an attempted extortion, and that these “False accusations” had been revealed for the sole purpose of blackmailing him.
Its press service reaffirmed on Friday that these accusations “Completely false” had not been “Validated by no human being ready to” publicly reveal their identity.
In parallel, the House Ethics Committee announced the opening of an investigation against another Republican, Tom Reed, 49, accused by a young woman of having sexually harassed her in 2017. The parliamentarian also rejects these accusations.