Nancy Pelosi said Matt Gaetz's removal from Judiciary is 'least that could be done' if allegations of possible sex-trafficking investigation are true

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) during a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Army has fired or suspended 14 leaders at Fort Hood following an investigation into the death of Specialist Vanessa Guillén and numerous other deaths and reports of sexual abuse on the military base. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Rep. Matt Gaetz is reportedly being looked at in a sex-trafficking investigation. Samuel Corum/Getty Images
  • Nancy Pelosi said Matt Gaetz's removal from the Judiciary Committee is "the least that could be done" if charges against him are true.

  • A bombshell report from The New York Times revealed that Gaetz was under federal investigation.

  • The GOP lawmaker later claimed the report was a "planted leak" as part of an extortion scheme.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Rep. Matt Gaetz's removal from the House Judiciary Committee is "least that could be done" should a Department of Justice investigation find allegations of possible sex trafficking true.

Pelosi responded to the emerging scandal surrounding Gaetz during a weekly news conference, saying that she believes the investigation is an "important issue" that affects the "integrity of the Congress."

Read more: Matt Gaetz is adding to his legal woes with a media blitz that could torpedo his defense if he's charged with a federal sex crime, DOJ veterans say

Gaetz became embroiled in a political firestorm earlier this week after The New York Times first reported that the Justice Department was conducting a probe into whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor and violated federal sex-trafficking laws.

The Republican lawmaker responded by claiming that the allegations are false and that the investigation was part of an "organized criminal extortion" plot against him and that bombshell report from The Times was a "planted leak."

"If in fact these allegations are true, of course, being removed from the Judiciary Committee is the least that could be done," Pelosi told reporters during the press conference, "but again, I think from what we've heard so far, this would be a matter for the Ethics Committee."

Pelosi's remarks on the investigation followed a similar response by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said it's too early to judge Gaetz and the situation at hand.

"Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that's the case," McCarthy told Fox News on Wednesday. "But right now Matt Gaetz says that it's not true, and we don't have any information. So let's get all the information."

Read the original article on Business Insider