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McCarthy Says Gaetz Could Be Removed From Committee if Sexual Misconduct Allegations Are True

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) could be removed from the House Judiciary Committee if allegations of sexual misconduct against him are determined to be true.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz is under federal investigation for alleged sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl and violating sex trafficking laws.

The California Republican has pushed to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee over a report that he was once close with an alleged Chinese spy. 

During Wednesday’s appearance on Fox News, McCarthy was asked if he would take action to remove Gaetz from the committee in light of his calls for Swalwell’s removal from the House Intelligence Committee. 

“Look I haven’t heard from DOJ. I haven’t been able to talk to Matt Gaetz yet. I just read the story,” McCarthy responded.

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He continued, “Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that was the case. But right now, Matt Gaetz says it is not true, and we don’t have any information. So let’s get all the information.”

Watch the video below:

Speaking to Axios on Tuesday, Gaetz said the allegations are false and claimed, “They are rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million … in exchange for making this case go away.”

In a statement, he said, “My family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter, and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.”

“The planted leak to the New York Times tonight was intended to thwart that investigation. No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation. I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations,” he added.

Gaetz has not been charged in relation to the investigation. However, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said the Florida Congressman should be suspended from the House Judiciary Committee.

“He should not be sitting on a Congressional Committee with oversight over the DOJ while the Department is investigating him,” he wrote in a tweet. 

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