Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Kevin McCarthy-Matt Gaetz feud heats up months after the former speaker’s ouster

By 37ci3 Mar25,2024

The ever-evolving feud between former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz continued Sunday as dueling stories emerged over an alleged proposal based on the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Gaetz.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, McCarthy made the reference a motion was filed last week Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is aiming to unseat House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

McCarthy, who was He was removed from the speakership in October After Gaetz filed a similar motion, he advised the Republican conference and upset Gaetz.

“The only advice I would give to the conference and the speaker is this: don’t be afraid of the discharge,” McCarthy said Sunday. “I don’t think they can do it again. It was certainly based on Matt Gaetz trying to stop the ethics complaint.

Regarding his reference to Gaetz, McCarthy elaborated, “It was just Matt coming to me. [to get] “I have to do something illegal to prevent the Ethics Committee from moving forward with an investigation that began long before I became Speaker.”

A fateful conversation on the ground

Reached by phone Sunday afternoon, South Carolina Democratic Rep. Ralph Norman disputed McCarthy’s version of events. His assessment was based on a conversation he witnessed, but did not hear – between McCarthy and Gaetz on the House floor, which he considered unusual “because they were not friendly.”

Norman told NBC News that Gaetz asked McCarthy about their conversation when he returned to him after the conversation, and Gaetz told him he asked McCarthy, “Do you want this to go away? or something like that.”

Norman Gaetz added did not accept the notion of an alleged offer in that conversation, and he said there was no chance McCarthy would ask for anything in return for making the ethics investigation “go away.”

“I don’t think it’s gone that far,” Norman said. “All Matt said was, ‘Kevin said, ‘Do you need an ethics violation to go?'”‘

Norman added: “I think Matt – I’m trying to think – said, ‘No, you’re the reason.’

Gaetz’s office confirmed Norman’s account of the events to NBC News.

Reached by phone Sunday afternoon and asked to respond to Norman’s comments, McCarthy laughed and told NBC News, “It’s bulls—.”

“What does he mean? [is] on the floor I talk to Gaetz, but then Gaetz talks to me about ethics,” he said, adding that the conversation took place in May.

McCarthy added: “Apparently he received a letter from Ethics requesting documents. … I told him that I don’t know anything about it. I told him you should talk [Ethics Committee Chair Michael] Guest.'”

House Ethics Committee opened the probe turned to Gaetz in 2021 to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against him and former New York Rep. Tom Reed, who resigned from Congress in 2022. Federal investigators at the Justice Department were also looking into whether Gaetz and his associate Joel Greenberg used the Internet. looking for women they can pay for sex.

McCarthy and his then-legal adviser, Machalagh Carr, told NBC News that they believe the House ethics investigation was first opened during the Speakership of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, but was put on hold pending a federal criminal investigation.

McCarthy said he didn’t know exactly when it reopened during his tenure as speaker. He added that he was unaware that the Ethics Committee investigation had been reopened until another member of Congress told him about it during a conversation in the speaker’s office in 2023.

There is Gaetz not caught with any crime and it is there has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

McCarthy links the ethics investigation to Gaetz’s discharge proposal

The feud between Gaetz and McCarthy came to the fore when Gaetz triggered A vote last October resulted in McCarthy’s ouster and Johnson’s election as speaker.

On Sunday afternoon, McCarthy claimed that Gaetz had tendered his resignation because he refused to intervene in the ethics investigation.

“What Getz always tried to do was to pressure me to try to do something I wouldn’t do with the Ethics Committee on his investigation,” McCarthy said.

“I didn’t even know [the investigation] was continuing. I’m not going to get into the middle of it. And they can do whatever they do,” he added.

A spokesman for the House Ethics Committee declined to comment.

Carr reiterated that McCarthy doesn’t have the authority to do anything Gaetz wants him to do anyway, saying, “House leadership has a lot of power in a lot of different ways, but the Ethics is specifically designed to be completely separate from that.”

“We don’t discuss what investigations are going on, how the vote will be held,” he said. “These conversations happen in different ways in every committee, but Ethics? There is no information about what they are doing.”

McCarthy blasted Gaetz, claiming the Florida Republican would “jeopardize the entire majority and try to keep me out of the speakership to protect me from anything that might come out of the Ethics Committee’s investigation.”

Another GOP member of Congress told NBC News that all of the reasons Gaetz publicly gave for petitioning to oust McCarthy are now moot.

“If Matt Gaetz believed so much in rules and believed in orderly regulation and believed in single appropriation accounts, he would be screaming from the rooftops and demanding. [another] requires an act of discharge and the salvation of all [now-Speaker] Mike Johnson,” the member said.

McCarthy set off from Congress in December. Gaetz is running for re-election to his seat in November.

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By 37ci3

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