Of course, Representative Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) situation can only worsen. If he is following the Donald Trump playbook, and so far it appears his is, the end of his legal road will be marked with a Dead End sign. This is just the latest charge against the former Trump minion.
To recap, he is looking at serious criminal charges, according to the LX.com, an NBC affiliate in South Florida.
‘[A]llegations of sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, has tapped into a reliable source of funds to subsidize his legal tab: campaign donors’ contributions.’
The House Ethics Committee announced has opened an investigation into him, too:
‘[Gaetz is being investigated for] sexual misconduct, 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.’
If Gaetz is using campaign funds to pay for his personal legal bills, he could be breaking Federal Campaign Finance (FEC) laws. The thing is, even when the FEC forbids candidates for misusing funds in this way, Lx reported:
‘[The FEC has] loose enforcement and legislative loopholes have enabled former lawmakers to cash in on their “zombie campaigns,” using their donors’ old contributions to pay for vacations, pay family & friends, and even subsidize their post-Congressional lobbying careers.’
A member of the political legal firm Arent Fox Law Firm, Craig Engle, said:
‘You can only use campaign funds to pay for legal bills for problems that are connected to your official duties in office.’
The legislative council for the nonpartisan watchdog IssueOne works to get the money out of politics. One of its members Danielle Caputo said:
‘Gaetz may have violated FEC federal campaign finance laws. His (2020) spending goes to show there was some thought put into (the Congressional fallout) before there was ever a nexus between his response as member of congress and what he’s accused of doing.’
‘There’s a question about whether it’s fair or right for donors, who support candidates because of what they believe in, to now pay for their personal defense for something that’s not related to their Congressional duties.’
‘There is a concern that members of Congress use campaign funds on things that are not related to their office. Generally, the FEC has not done much in recent years to enforce any of the campaign finance laws, and the personal use restrictions are not an exception that.’
Gaetz’s latest campaign disclosure was just filed Thursday. In it, the Florida representative spent $85,626 of donors’ dollars on legal consulting since last July.
Those original payments occurred weeks after his friend former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg was indicted on charges of sex trafficking, among others. Greenberg is cooperating with authorities, according to The New York Times.
The congressman’s campaign paid the Washington D.C. law firm Venable, LLP, over $64,000 in the last six months of 2020.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.