A Last Week Tonight joke about Florida congressman Matt Gaetz was cut by lawyers, according to host John Oliver.
On the October 15 episode, Oliver mocked Congress‘s ongoing internal struggles. The comic compared Republican infighting to Netflix‘s political thriller House of Cards, and Gaetz to the show’s leading man, Kevin Spacey.
“I guess it’s true in that it was kind of fun to watch at first, but now I’m just exhausted by it,” Oliver said.
“There’s actually another way in which this drama is like House of Cards, and it involves something one of its key protagonists, Matt Gaetz, has in common with Kevin Spacey.
“Sadly, my lawyers told me that I can’t say what it is, but I can think it, and so can all of you,” Oliver added.
In the statement, Gaetz’s lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, said: “We have just spoken with the DOJ and have been informed that they have concluded their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and they have determined not to bring any charges against him.”
For more than three years, prosecutors probed the Republican politician’s behavior, after claims that the 41-year-old was involved in a scheme to traffic a 17-year-old girl. However, Gaetz denied the accusations and was not charged in the matter.
The politician said that he had been targeted by blackmailers. “Over the past several weeks, my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name,” Gaetz tweeted.
“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI‘s direction to catch these criminals,” Gaetz added.
In 2017, Spacey was axed from House of Cards due to sexual-misconduct allegations on set. Between 2017 and 2023, the 64-year-old would battle multiple sexual-assault claims—which he has vehemently denied. In June, Spacey was cleared on nine charges of sexual assault in the U.K. Complaints against the actor were first filed in June 2022, with Spacey accused of sexual offences by four men between 2001 and 2013. The Oscar winner denied the claims.
The U.K. case followed earlier legal battles in the U.S. Actor Anthony Rapp filed a lawsuit against Spacey in 2020, accusing him of making an “unwanted sexual advance” towards him in the 1980s. At the time, Rapp was 14 years old, while Spacey was 26, according to public records. Spacey refuted the allegation, with the court ruling in his favor in October 2022.
The American Beauty star was also accused of groping a waiter in a restaurant in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 2016, but the case ended when the server refused to testify. A civil case in Los Angeles was also dropped in 2019, after the accuser passed away.
Newsweek has reached out to Matt Gaetz and Kevin Spacey for comment via email.