Rep. Matt Gaetz’s Hidden Motive in Feud with House Speaker McCarthy Explained

Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz
CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES Kevin McC

A reported explanation has emerged for the recent feud among GOP lawmakers. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) initiated a motion to oust the then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), raising eyebrows with his somewhat cryptic justifications.

Gaetz primarily cited perceived breaches of promises related to budget matters made by McCarthy to the House Freedom Caucus, a faction on the far-right. However, according to The Daily Beast, Gaetz privately confided the true motive behind his actions: retaliation for an ethics investigation opened against him.

The Daily Beast, as reported by Roger Sollenberger and Reese Gorman, has access to private correspondence suggesting that Gaetz admitted to a friend that his campaign to undermine, isolate, and ultimately unseat McCarthy was driven by a desire for retribution in response to the ethics probe.

The publication is refraining from quoting these communications to protect the recipient’s identity, as the source providing the messages fears potential repercussions. Additionally, the form of the correspondence remains undisclosed.

In these undisclosed exchanges, Gaetz specifically pointed fingers at McCarthy for reigniting an Ethics Committee inquiry into his conduct, clarifying that his animosity toward McCarthy stemmed from this investigation. It appears that Gaetz’s intense frustration over the revived probe propelled him to make a historic move in his bid to remove McCarthy, disregarding the concerns of the majority of his fellow GOP colleagues, who feared the potential for lasting harm. Throughout this endeavor, Gaetz maintained his trademark grin.

According to the report, other sources within the Republican congressional circles have also claimed that Gaetz openly acknowledged his motive for revenge behind closed doors. The Ethics Committee’s investigation into Gaetz centers on allegations of accepting a bribe, engaging in recreational drug use, misusing campaign funds for personal purposes, and transporting an underage girl across state lines for sexual acts.

While the FBI extensively probed the last allegation, and his associate Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to multiple charges, Gaetz himself has not faced any charges about these accusations. Nevertheless, the investigation into Gaetz has recently gained momentum.

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