Thomas Catenacci, DCNF
An ethics review into Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s use of taxpayer money leasing an office space from a campaign donor has been terminated, according to the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Gaetz allegedly spent roughly $200,000 of taxpayer money leasing the office from a Florida man who is Gaetz’s friend and a donor, Politico reported in April. The ethics office sent a letter to Gaetz July 1, notifying him about the termination of the ethics review, according to Politico.
The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent ethics watchdog tasked with investigating allegations of misconduct by U.S. congressmen and their staff, according to its website.
“Update your stories. This was a BS smear by Politico, now debunked,” Gaetz tweeted Thursday evening.
Update your stories. This was a BS smear by Politico, now debunked.https://t.co/Ztz5tlllrz
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) July 9, 2020
The ethics office initiated a review following Politico’s April report. Gaetz defended himself at the time in a series of tweets in which he said the allegations were baseless.
“The scandalous oppo they’ve dumped: I have an office lease at or below market rate, approved by the House, from Merrill Land Company,” Gaetz tweeted.
He added: “So I’ve been busted possibly getting a deal for taxpayers while allowing a beloved, multi-generation local community leader to donate some free food to students who excel in Art. As a congressman, my office has returned over $500k 2 taxpayers by not spending all we are allocated.”
The scandalous oppo they’ve dumped:
I have an office lease at or below market rate, approved by the House, from Merrill Land Company.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 16, 2020
The Office of Congressional Ethics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.