Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Matt Gaetz

Jun 28, 2019

Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement:

On March 13, 2019, the Committee received a Member complaint against Representative Matt Gaetz.  The Committee then began a review, pursuant to Committee Rules 16(c) and 18(a), into allegations that Representative Gaetz sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence the President’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, in connection with Mr. Cohen’s testimony before a congressional committee. 

As part of that review, on May 13, 2019, the Committee requested Representative Gaetz’s appearance for an in-person interview.  Representative Gaetz declined the Committee’s interview request. 

On May 16, 2019, the Committee informed Representative Gaetz that its ability to resolve the complaint would be hindered without his testimony and explained that if the Committee was unable to dispose of the complaint by June 24, 2019, House and Committee Rules would require the Committee to establish an Investigative Subcommittee to review the allegations against him. 

Because Representative Gaetz did not provide the Committee with testimony, the Committee was unable to dispose of the complaint by the rule-based deadline.  Accordingly, pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(2), and Committee Rule 16(d), an Investigative Subcommittee has been established and the complaint against Representative Gaetz forwarded to it for consideration. 

The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an Investigative Subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred.

The Honorable Anthony G. Brown will serve as the Chairman of the Investigative Subcommittee, and the Honorable Michael Guest will serve as the Ranking Member.  The other two members of the Investigative Subcommittee are the Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi and the Honorable John W. Rose.  No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.

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