Kevin McCarthy Suggests Matt Gaetz's Teen Sex Ethics Probe Led To His Ouster

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Tuesday that the successful effort to oust him from his House speakership last year started with one man — whom McCarthy described in reference to an underage sex investigation but did not explicitly name.

There is, however, only one member of Congress currently under investigation for allegedly having sex with a teen girl: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

During an interview at Georgetown University Tuesday evening, McCarthy objected to the idea that he made “a lot of concessions” during his time as House speaker.

“I’ll give you the truth why I’m not speaker,” McCarthy told the audience. “It’s because one person, a member of Congress, wanted me to stop an ethics complaint because he slept with a 17-year-old. An ethics complaint that started before I ever became speaker ... Did he do it or not? I don’t know.”

Gaetz responded on X, formerly Twitter, saying that “Kevin McCarthy is a liar.”

“That’s why he is no longer speaker,” Gaetz wrote.

Gaetz opposed McCarthy’s speakership bid from the beginning, when the 118th Congress attempted to convene in the first days of 2023. McCarthy was eventually chosen House speaker after 15 chaotic rounds of voting over several days, with Gaetz voting “present” in the final round.

Gaetz ended up leading the charge for McCarthy’s ouster about 10 months later.

The Florida congressman’s problems, however, have not disappeared.

The House ethics committee is still plodding along with its investigation into allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl and paid her to travel with him.

Joel Greenberg, a former friend of Gaetz, is reportedly cooperating with the House investigation as he serves an 11-year prison sentence for a range of charges, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg says he witnessed Gaetz’s alleged underage sexual encounter.

Gaetz has denied the accusation since it became public in 2021.

Venmo transactions viewed by The Daily Beast reportedly showed the men paying the girls: In 2018, Gaetz allegedly used Venmo to send $900 to Greenberg, who then used the app to send varying amounts totaling $900 to three young women.

The Justice Department also looked into the claims against Gaetz, reportedly considering whether he violated sex trafficking laws himself. But the department quietly closed its probe last year after reportedly failing to make a strong enough case against the congressman.