Matt Gaetz Told a Friend He Shivved Kevin McCarthy as Revenge for the House Ethics Probe: Report

Matt Gaetz has long maintained that his move last year to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House was strictly about a lack of agreement on policy, and absolutely not about getting revenge for a revived Ethics Committee probe related to the Florida lawmaker’s alleged sex trafficking. On the other hand, McCarthy has insisted the probe was why he lost his job, saying in an interview last month: “We all know it’s the ethics complaint on Gaetz. He’s doing everything to make sure it doesn’t come out, and that means he doesn’t care about anything else.” And according to a new report, the former House leader may be onto something.

The Daily Beast reports, according to private correspondence it reviewed, “Gaetz indicated to a friend that his effort to undercut, isolate, and ultimately remove McCarthy was, indeed, payback for the ethics probe.” According to the outlet, “in the communications, Gaetz singled out McCarthy individually for reviving an Ethics Committee probe against him, and he indicated that his animus toward McCarthy was over that investigation.”

Reporters Roger Sollenberger and Reese Gorman also write:

Other Republican congressional sources told The Daily Beast that Gaetz also acknowledged his revenge motive behind closed doors. In one instance over the summer, Gaetz relayed to a group of colleagues that his push to remove McCarthy was a direct response to the ethics investigation. He specifically blamed McCarthy for the return of the probe, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.

A senior GOP congressional staffer separately told The Daily Beast that he had also heard Gaetz lay the ethics probe at McCarthy’s feet. “I’ve heard him complain about Kevin because of it,” the staffer said. This aide also confirmed that Gaetz connected the probe to his rally to remove McCarthy.

The Ethics probe began under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi; it was then paused, reportedly at the request of the Justice Department, which was conducting its own investigation into allegations Gaetz had paid for sex with a minor and broke federal sex trafficking laws. (Gaetz has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.) By February, prosecutors had decided not to charge the Florida lawmaker; shortly after that, the House reopened its probe, reportedly contacting witnesses as early as June 2023. The Daily Beast notes, “That same month, Gaetz led a chorus of Freedom Caucus allies in the first stages of their rebellion, raising the specter of a motion to vacate over an intra-party dispute about debt ceiling negotiations.”

In a statement to the outlet, Gaetz said: “As I’ve answered likely 100 times on the record, I led the charge to remove Kevin McCarthy from his role as House Speaker because he failed to keep his promises. The Daily Beast continues to lie about me, and I think it’s due for a round of layoffs.”

McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment, though his take on the matter seems clear. Speaking to Politico last year, just weeks before he quit his job as a congressman, the ex-Speaker said: “You have a cross section [of Florida Republicans in Congress]. You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.”

Donald Trump ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll a whopping $83.3 million in damages

This comes on top of the $5 million he was ordered to pay her last year. Per The New York Times:

A Manhattan jury on Friday ordered former president Donald J. Trump to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll for defaming her in social media posts, news conferences, and even on the campaign trail ever since she first accused him in 2019 of raping her in a department store dressing room decades earlier. The award included $65 million in punitive damages, which the nine-member jury assessed after finding Mr. Trump, 77, had acted maliciously after Ms. Carroll’s lawyers pointed to Mr. Trump’s persisting attacks on her, both from the White House and after leaving office. On a single day recently, Mr. Trump made more than 40 derisive posts about her on his Truth Social website.

Ms. Carroll, 80, testified that his repeated taunts and lashing out had mobilized many of his supporters, leading to an onslaught of attacks on social media and in her email inbox that frightened her and “shattered” her reputation as a well-regarded advice columnist for Elle magazine. “I was attacked on Twitter,” Ms. Carroll told the jury. “I was attacked on Facebook. I was living in a new universe.”

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