U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, is pressing Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s maintained assignment on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies, and federal law enforcement entities.
Lieu’s inquiry came following a report from The Daily Beast that cited witnesses who claim Gaetz snorted cocaine with an escort after a 2019 GOP fundraiser and placed the hotel stay on his campaign’s tab.
In a tweet posted Friday evening, Lieu addresses McCarthy in response to a post of the story, writing, “Dear GOP Leader: Why are you still supporting Rep Matt Gaetz to sit on the House Judiciary Committee?”
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 14, 2021
Gaetz, who is currently on a national speaking tour, is tied to a multipronged federal investigation involving his longtime friend Joel Greenberg. The original probe into Greenberg led to reports of others being pulled into the federal investigation, including Gaetz.
The investigation by the Justice Department involves sex, drugs, prostitutes, including one under age 18, theft in office, fraud, stalking and identity theft. Greenberg is set to appear in court Monday, where he is expected to plead guilty to six federal felony charges.
Gaetz also faces a confirmed House ethics inquiry.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.
But, the Congressman’s involvement in the investigation has left some members of Congress questioning his position on committees, including Lieu.
Lieu, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, told MSNBC previously that Gaetz had the right to the presumption of innocence, but not to retain a committee assignment.
However, McCarthy told reporters in April that he believed Gaetz to be “innocent until proven guilty” and that there would be no punishment unless charges were filed.
Under House GOP rules, lawmakers who are charged with serious felonies lose committee assignments.