House Ethics Committee drops the hammer on Matt Gaetz

Important Note: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Support us via PayPal and GoFundMe.
–––––

Matt Gaetz has escaped criminal prosecution (for now), but he’s such a liability that his fellow House Republicans seem to be trying to get rid of him. The Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee has been investigating Gaetz for awhile. And while you’d think it might be an intra-party sham, the committee is indeed dropping the hammer on Gaetz.

The House Ethics Committee announced today that it’s continuing to investigate whether Matt Gaetz engaged in “sexual misconduct and illicit drug use” along with obstruction of justice. You don’t put out an announcement like that unless you’re planning to oust someone. So you can take today’s announcement as the committee indeed dropping the hammer on Gaetz. He’s finished.

There’s still the question of timing. House Republicans know that they can oust Matt Gaetz from his far-right district, and he’ll safely be replaced with another Republican. So they’d only lose the seat temporarily. Right now they’re probably afraid to do that, for fear it would result in the ouster of Speaker Mike Johnson and potentially the loss of the House majority.

But as we get closer to the end of the current House term, the majority will be reshuffled via the November election anyway. So there’s a window where House Republicans will be able to expel Matt Gaetz without it really impacting the majority. It sure looks like they’re planning to do it.

It’s also entirely possible that the House Ethics Committee will make a criminal referral based on the evidence it’s uncovered, which could in turn prompt the DOJ to go ahead and indict Gaetz. These things take a lot longer than they should. But it’s clear that Gaetz hasn’t yet “gotten away” with anything.

Important Note: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Support us via PayPal and GoFundMe.