Scathing Kevin McCarthy says he was ousted as Speaker because Gaetz allegedly ‘slept with a 17-year-old’

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said he was ousted from his position because Representative Matt Gaetz “slept with a 17-year-old.”

“I'll give you the truth as to why I'm not Speaker,” Mr McCarthy said while speaking at Georgetown University on Tuesday. “Because one person, a member of Congress, wanted me to stop an ethics complaint because he slept with a 17-year-old, an ethics complaint that started before I ever became Speaker...Did he do it or not? I don't know.”

Mr McCarthy is referring to a US House Ethics Committee investigation opened in 2021 related to allegations that Mr Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, violated sex-trafficking laws and had sex with an underage girl. The Ethics investigation was soon after tabled to allow the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate. The DOJ stopped their investigation last year and did not charge Mr Gaetz.

The Congressman has strongly denied any wrongdoing since the allegations arose. In a statement to The Independent, Mr Gaetz also called Mr McCarthy a “liar.”

“Kevin is a liar,” Mr Gaetz said. “Which, actually, is why he isn’t Speaker. Just ask any of the 224 people who voted to remove him.”

Mr Gaetz led the charge to oust Mr McCarthy as House Speaker last year. The Congressman presented the motion to vacate that ultimately passed, removing Mr McCarthy from the position. The representative from Florida has previously said he ousted Mr McCarthy because of concerns he violated the “fundamental commitments” he made to become Speaker — not because of his anger about the ethics probe.

However, a report from The Daily Beast earlier this year said Mr Gaetz told a friend that he targetted Mr McCarthy because of the probe.

“I’ve heard him complain about Kevin because of it,” an unidentified GOP staffer told the outlet.

Last month, Mr Gaetz was served a subpoena to take part in a deposition in a civil lawsuit connected to claims he had sex with an underage girl. The subpoena is part of a lawsuit brought by a friend of Mr Gaetz targeting the young woman and others.

The subpoena was issued by lawyers representing the woman, who is now in her twenties. Mr Gaetz’s deposition is part of a larger defamation and racketeering lawsuit brought by Chris Dorworth, a friend of Mr Gaetz and a former Florida House member and lobbyist, against the woman and others.

“Congressman Gaetz received a witness subpoena in an ongoing lawsuit between outside parties,” a spokesperson for Mr Gaetz previously told The Independent. “He is not being sued, and he is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in this matter.”