Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz sent nearly $30,000 in taxpayer funds to a limited liability company and by doing so may have violated House rules.
Gaetz disclosed that he made 14 separate payments of $2,000 each to the company, Presidential Communications, and Strategies, reported Politico.
Presidential Communications and Strategies is directly linked to a former Trump advisor that was fired in 2018. Darren Beattie was fired after attending a conference that was often frequented by members of white supremacist groups.
Last year, Gaetz announced that he had hired Beattie as a special adviser for speechwriting. However, according to a report by Politico, Beattie never appeared on Gaetz’s congressional staff payroll. Reportedly, Gaetz compensated Beattie through the LLC.
Lawmakers are prohibited from spending taxpayer dollars on political consultants, speechwriters, and communications advisers by House rules, except in instances where they received prior approval from congressional officials.
Gaetz’s office has acknowledged that he did send taxpayer dollars to Presidential Communications and Strategies for Beattie’s services, however, he now claims that it was just a clerical error and that it will be corrected.
Gaetz may have also broken House rules when he used taxpayer dollars to pay a private company to install a television studio at his father’s home. The company charges a fee every time the studio is used and Gaetz has to pay to rent the television camera. Taxpayers’ money went to cover those expenses as well.
Back in April, it surfaced that Gaetz had used $184,000 in taxpayer funds to rent an office from a close friend and donor.