Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Sunday that he believes Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) could face the same threat of expulsion as Rep. George Santos (R-NY) once an ethics review of the camera.
“I think once the ethics complaint is filed, he could have the same problem as Santos,” McCarthy told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I think it would probably be better for the conference to be united so we can move forward and get this all done.”
Gaetz has been under review by the House Ethics Committee that is believed to focus on allegations including sexual misconduct and illicit drug use.
Last week, the committee filed a stunning report on Santos, who faces a 23-count indictment alleging he “brazenly stole” from his campaign for personal use.
Committee Chairman Michael Guest (R-Miss.) introduced a motion to expel Santos, which the House is expected to take up once it reconvenes after Thanksgiving.
Santos, who has faced damning revelations that he fabricated large chunks of his backstory, denied the allegations and accused the panel of bias.
Kevin McCarthy recently joined the China Committee.Getty Images
Gaetz, meanwhile, has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and criticized his ethics review.
“I am the most investigated man in the United States Congress,” Gaetz said last month. “It seems that the Ethics Committee’s interest in me waxes and wanes based on my relationship with the speaker.”
Earlier this year, federal prosecutors decided not to file charges against the Florida firebrand after a lengthy investigation into allegations of encounters with teenage women.
In September, the Federal Election Commission cleared him of accusations of using campaign funds to pay legal bills for that investigation.
Last month, Gaetz led a mutiny of eight Republicans who joined a solid bloc of Democrats to oust McCarthy from the House speakership.
McCarthy has long speculated that Gaetz was motivated by the ethics investigation and has alleged that the Florida congressman asked him to intervene in the review, but he refused. Gaetz has denied that claim.
Matt Gaetz successfully ousted the former president last month.AP
The California representative also again denied accusations that he pushed another enemy on Sunday: Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who was among eight Republicans who voted to unseat him.
Last week, Burchett accused McCarthy of elbowing him in the stomach in a fight witnessed by an NPR correspondent after a House GOP conference meeting.
“If someone was hit, it was not intentional. It’s just a hallway full of people, where everyone comes out at the same time,” McCarthy said Sunday.
McCarthy later clarified that he was not accusing Burchett of making up the physical encounter.
“If someone was hit by a narrow hallway, it happens all the time. It was not intentional. I know no one got punched in the process,” she said.
Adding to that dispute last week, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tx.) made waves by complaining about the lack of results achieved by House Republicans.
George Santos could be expelled from the House of Representatives when it reconvenes after Thanksgiving.REUTERS Tim Burchett initially went after Kevin McCarthy after the hallway fight.Getty Images
Their complaints came in the context of the recent “phased” interim measure to avoid a government shutdown last Friday that did not include spending cuts.
McCarthy said he wished he was on the House floor to respond to Roy when he made that viral comment.
“We cut 2 billion dollars. We have job requirements. We managed to reform NEPA, something we had not done in 40 years. “We prevented the hiring of new IRS agents this year and $20 billion in the future,” McCarthy explained.
Santos has already survived expulsion efforts, most recently one that was championed by six New York Republicans.
McCarthy did not support the effort at the time, and a circle of Democrats did not either.
But an avalanche of Republicans and Democrats who opposed the previous effort have changed their minds, raising the specter of an expulsion.
Congress will need to obtain a two-thirds majority to expel him.