U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a top ally and defender of President Donald Trump, paid $28,000 to a speechwriter who worked for Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller and was reportedly fired by the White House after he attended a white nationalist conference.
House rules prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for speechwriters or communications advisors.
Politico, which first reported the apparent ethics violation, says the Florida Republican Congressman “has privately engaged in several spending practices in his nearly four years in office that appear to be in conflict with the House’s ethics rules.”
Gaetz’s office calls it “an innocent clerical mistake.”
Congressman Gaetz also had a private television studio built in his father’s home.
“Taxpayers foot the bill to rent the television camera, and the private company that built the studio — which Gaetz refuses to identify — takes a fee each time he appears on air,” Politico’s investigation revealed.
That arrangement also may violate House ethics rules, which prohibit lawmakers and their family members from accepting gifts of more than $50.
Gaetz’s office claims the House Ethics Committee approved both arrangements but provided no proof.
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‘Proud’ QAnon-Candidate Endorser Matt Gaetz Unanimously Admonished by House Ethics Committee Over Conduct Code
The House Committee on Ethics announced in a report released Friday it had voted unanimously to admonish U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, over a tweet he sent which some saw as an attempt to intimidate a witness ahead of his testimony before Congress.
The Ethics Committee reviewed “allegations that Representative Gaetz sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence the President’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, in connection with Mr. Cohen’s testimony before a congressional committee.”
Hey @MichaelCohen212 – Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…
Gaetz “expressed remorse” and deleted the tweet after public recrimination.
An Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) found Gaetz’s actions “did not reflect creditably upon the House of Representatives, in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 1 of the Code of Official Conduct.” But it also found Gaetz “did not violate witness tampering and obstruction of Congress laws.”
The ISC “noted that a grievance committee of the Florida Bar found Representative Gaetz’s tweet to be ‘unprofessional, reckless, insensitive, and [that it] demonstrated poor judgment.'” The Bar’s “grievance committee concluded that” Rep. Gaetz’s “conduct in this instance did not warrant formal discipline,” but “was not consistent with the high standards of [its] profession,” and that Gaetz’s “actions do not reflect favorably” on him “as a member of The Florida Bar.”
The 38-year old Republican lawmaker is a Trump-loving, headline-grabbing, conspiracy theorist who has ties to the alt-right.
Last month, apparently in violation of House rules, it was revealed that Gaetz paid $28,000 to a speechwriter who worked for Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller and was reportedly fired by the White House after he attended a white nationalist conference.
Watch: Barr Indignantly Admits He’s Talked About Trump’s Re-Election With the President – Even in Cabinet Meetings
Under intense questioning from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Attorney General Bill Barr admits he has discussed President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign with the president, including in the White House while official business is being conducted.
“Yes or no: Have you discussed the president’s re-election campaign with the president, or with any White House official or surrogate of the president?” Chairman Nadler asked.
“Well I’m not going to get in to my discussions with the President,” Barr replied, refusing to answer.
“Have you discussed that topic with him? Yes or no?” Nadler pressed.
“Not in relation to the program,” Barr offered in a response that was illogical.
“I didn’t ask that – I asked if you discussed that –” Nadler said before Barr interrupted him.
“I’m a member of the Cabinet,” Barr declared indignantly. “There’s an election going on, obviously the topic comes up.”
There actually is no reason for a sitting president campaigning for re-election would discuss that campaign with an Attorney General. Barr also admitted the “topic comes up in cabinet meetings,” meaning Trump has discussed the campaign with other members of his Cabinet in the White House while conducting official government business.
Barr has sent federal “police” into various cities across the country, including Portland. These secret police forces have undermined the rule of law and enflamed what were mostly peaceful protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
An evasive Bill Barr admits he's discussed Trump's reelection campaign with the president pic.twitter.com/2HkCfxMzsR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 28, 2020
REVEALED: Kushner Firm Built Coronavirus Website Trump Promised Google Was Building
More details about Donald Trump administration’s haphazard response to the COVID-19 pandemic were revealed in a bombshell new report published by The Atlantic on Monday evening.
“On March 13, President Donald Trump promised Americans they would soon be able to access a new website that would ask them about their symptoms and direct them to nearby coronavirus testing sites. He said Google was helping. That wasn’t true,” The Atlantic reported.
“But in the following days, Oscar Health—a health-insurance company closely connected to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner—developed a government website with the features the president had described. A team of Oscar engineers, project managers, and executives spent about five days building a stand-alone website at the government’s request, an Oscar spokesperson told The Atlantic. The company even dispatched two employees from New York to meet in person with federal officials in Washington, D.C., the spokesperson said. Then the website was suddenly and mysteriously scrapped,” the magazine reported.
“The full extent of Oscar’s work on the project has not been previously reported. The partnership between the administration and the firm suggests that Kushner may have mingled his family’s business interests with his political interests and his role in the administration’s coronavirus response,” The Atlantic noted. “The ad hoc nature of Kushner’s task force has already collided with federal laws. Oscar’s involvement deepens Kushner’s ethics and conflict-of-interest problems.”
NEW: Oscar Health—a health-insurance firm closely connected to Jared Kushner—developed a website for the government’s coronavirus response. The site, which looked like a government product, was ultimately shelved. Oscar says it worked for free.
My story: https://t.co/YJtI5uIlIe
— Robinson Meyer (@yayitsrob) March 31, 2020
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