McCarthy Blames 'One Person' for Job Loss

Former speaker ties his loss of top House job to Matt Gaetz wanting to 'stop ethics complaint'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2024 5:41 PM CDT
McCarthy Gets Specific About Gaetz's Ethics Case
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber on Jan. 6, 2023.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Kevin McCarthy has blamed Rep. Matt Gaetz by name before for his loss of the House speakership, saying the Florida Republican was "trying to stop an ethics complaint." In an appearance Tuesday at Georgetown University, McCarthy became more specific about that complaint, though he was less specific this time about the person facing it. "One person wanted me to stop an ethics complaint because he slept with a 17-year-old," McCarthy said, Politico reports. It was Gaetz who led the successful efforts to take McCarthy's speaker's gavel last year. The complaint had been filed before he became speaker, McCarthy said.

"Did he do it or not? I don't know," McCarthy, who retired from the House, said at the event. Gaetz responded to McCarthy's comments Wednesday in a post on X. "Kevin McCarthy is a liar," Gaetz wrote. "That's why he is no longer speaker. Just ask the 224 people who voted to remove him." The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that Gaetz engaged in sexual misconduct and did drugs, per the Hill. The Justice Department decided last year not to prosecute sex trafficking accusations against Gaetz. (More Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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