Matt Gaetz Hit With Inquiry That Could Lead To Expulsion From Congress

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The House Ethics Committee, which is an evenly split, bipartisan panel in that chamber of Congress, has refreshed its examination of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), according to a report in Punchbowl News.

Gaetz had previously faced scrutiny from the committee in connection to some of the same alleged misconduct that drove the widely reported Justice Department investigation of the Congressman. Gaetz’s part in that Justice inquiry has already ended with no charges. Earlier, the Ethics Committee had opted to leave the investigating to the Justice Department, but at this point, panel members won’t be impeding any federal work around Gaetz since that work is over. “The secretive panel hasn’t decided yet whether to move ahead with a special investigative subcommittee,” Punchbowl News reported. “But committee investigators have begun looking into the allegations surrounding the fourth-term lawmaker, we’re told.”

The panel can throw its weight behind the potential imposition of serious consequences. They can even recommend expulsion from the chamber, which would require a vote from the full House before the move was actually implemented.

The Ethics Committee also has Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) under investigation. Santos is the infamous first-term Congressman from New York who has been caught in an expansive web of apparent lies about his personal, family, and professional backgrounds and has since been criminally charged at the federal level with an array of alleged financial crimes. Among other examples, he is alleged to have lied on forms filed with the U.S. House about his personal finances, and prosecutors also contend that monetary outlays meant to support his campaign actually went to a company he controlled and funded personal expenses of his. The Ethics panel recently sought the identities of those who signed on to cover Santos’s bail requirements, as suspicions have swirled about that arrangement and whether the support Santos received was adherent to rules for gifts.