House Republicans are reportedly considering expelling Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) from their ranks if an ethics committee report finds evidence of wrongdoing by the controversial lawmaker. According to sources speaking to Fox News, GOP members have grown frustrated with Gaetz and his ongoing efforts to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The potential move to expel Gaetz comes after the congressman appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, where he called for new and “trustworthy” leadership in the House. Gaetz accused McCarthy of lying to both President Joe Biden and conservative House members. He also claimed that McCarthy had broken his promises regarding spending and government shutdowns.
“I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy,” Gaetz said. “Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden. He lied to House conservatives.”
When pressed by CNN host Jake Tapper about personal communications in which Gaetz reportedly blamed McCarthy for the ethics investigation against him, Gaetz denied any personal animus towards the House Speaker. Instead, Gaetz maintained that the fight was about holding McCarthy accountable to his word on spending agreements.
“This isn’t personal, Jake,” Gaetz said. “This is about keeping Kevin McCarthy to his word. It’s not about any personal animus.”
According to ABC producer and reporter Ben Siegel, McCarthy addressed Gaetz’s accusations during a private conference call with House Republicans, reminding them to “get over” personal issues and focus on governing.
“This is personal with Matt,” McCarthy reportedly said. “Let’s get over it, let’s start governing.”
The House Ethics Committee began its probe into Gaetz in 2021, looking into allegations of campaign finance violations, taking bribes, and using drugs. Gaetz has consistently denied all claims against him, including allegations leaked from a Department of Justice sex trafficking investigation that allegedly involves an underage girl.
Expelling Gaetz from their ranks would require a two-thirds majority vote by House Republicans, a margin that could prove challenging given the party’s slim majority in the House. If the ethics committee report does find evidence of wrongdoing by Gaetz, it could add weight to calls for his expulsion.
Despite the mounting pressure, Gaetz remained defiant during his CNN interview. As the investigation continues, it remains to be seen if Republicans will take action against their fellow lawmaker.