Matt Gaetz Raises the Stakes, Goes After McCarthy

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has filed an ethics complaint against former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The complaint revolves around an alleged incident between McCarthy and Republican Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee that took place Tuesday.

In a news release posted on Gaetz’s website, the incident is described as an “assault.”

The release said Burchett referred to the incident as a “sucker punch” and a “clean shot to the kidney.”

“It has come to my attention that this morning, November 14, 2023, following a meeting of the House Republican Conference, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) assaulted Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) in the hallways of Capitol complex. This assault was witnessed by numerous people, including Claudia Griseles of NPR, who was interviewing Rep. Burchett at the time,” Gaetz wrote, according to a copy of the letter posted on his website.

The letter said that the “incident deserves immediate and swift investigation by the Ethics Committee. “

“This Congress has seen a substantial increase in breaches of decorum unlike anything we have seen since the pre-Civil War era. I myself have been a victim of outrageous conduct on the House floor as well, but nothing like an open and public assault on a Member, committed by another Member,” he wrote.

“The rot starts at the top,” Gaetz wrote.

Gaetz said the panel is required to investigate, regardless of what Burchett does in the aftermath of the confrontation with McCarthy.

“While Rep. Burchett is within his rights to decline to press charges against Rep. McCarthy, your Committee does have a duty to investigate breaches of the binding Code of Official Conduct, whose first rule is that ‘A Member … shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’ There is substantial evidence that Rep. McCarthy breached this duty,” the letter said.

“Given Rep. Burchett’s comments on the matter, and the statements of public witnesses, I request the House Committee on Ethics to proceed immediately with an investigation into the facts of today’s incident, including interviewing, under oath, the alleged assailant and assailee, and any witnesses,” the letter said.

McCarthy has denied that he elbowed Burchett, saying that the hallway was crowded at the time, according to Axios.

National Public Radio congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales has said she witnessed McCarthy jab Burchett.

Burchett was one of the eight Republicans who successfully voted to vacate McCarthy from the speaker’s office last month, according to The Washington Post.

Burchett pursued McCarthy, according to social media posts by Grisales.

“Why’d you elbow me in the back, Kevin?!” Burchett was reported as saying in an X post by Grisales, adding, “Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?”

via westernjournal

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