Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, insisted he is “not going anywhere” after the House Ethics Committee announced its members are investigating multiple allegations involving the congressman Friday.
“Let me assure you, I have not yet begun to fight for the country I love and for the nation that I know benefits from America First principles,” Mr. Gaetz told supporters during an event in Miami.
“I’m built for the battle and I’m not going anywhere,” Mr. Gaetz defiantly told supporters during the “Save America Summit” fundraiser held by the Women for America First political action committee.
Mr. Gaetz, a close ally and loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump, spoke at the event amid facing mounting allegations that recently made him a focus of more than one federal investigation.
The U.S. Department of Justice is examining whether Mr. Gaetz broke federal human trafficking laws by engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, The New York Times first reported last month.
More recently, the Democratic-controlled House Ethics Committee announced earlier Friday it has launched an investigation of its own concerning the congressman involving that allegation and others.
“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct,” the committee said in a statement.
“The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” said the statement.
Speaking later at the summit, which took place at Trump National Doral Miami, a golf resort owned by the former president, Mr. Gaetz broadly rejected the allegations brought against him as bogus.
“The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life, to wild, and I mean wild, conspiracy theories,” Mr. Gaetz said to supporters at one point during his speech.
“Firebrands don’t retreat, especially when the battle for the soul of our country calls,” Mr. Gaetz said later.