WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House Republican says Rep. Matt Gaetz is innocent until proven guilty.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says that means he doesn't plan to punish the Florida Republican unless charges are filed against him.
Gaetz has been under federal investigation for sex trafficking allegations, but he's denied the accusations and no charges have yet been filed.
McCarthy tells reporters that Gaetz privately told him he's innocent. McCarthy says he told Gaetz that the party would act against him if legal action began against him.
Internal House GOP rules require that lawmakers charged with serious felonies lose their membership in committees.