Gaetz files ethics complaint against Kevin McCarthy over alleged ‘sucker punch’

by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Photo: Alamy

Former Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is making headlines again with accusations that he delivered a “sucker punch” to Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., filed an ethics complaint on Tuesday alleging that McCarthy assaulted Burchett.

The complaint states that the alleged incident took place in the hallways of the Capitol Complex. “Rep. Burchett has described the attack as a “sucker punch” and “a clean shot to the kidney,” Gaetz wrote.

The allegations surfaced Tuesday, when NPR Congressional Correspondent Claudia Grisales posted to X stating, “Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill.”

She then reported that McCarthy “walked by with his detail” and “shoved Burchett.”

“A chase ensued,” she concluded. 

Social media erupted over the news as the Citizen Free Press shared audio of the incident, which NPR was recording at the time of the alleged assault. 

During the recording, Burchett asked, “Why’d you elbow me in the back, Kevin!?” He continued, “Hey Kevin, you got any guts?”

Burchett was then asked, “Has he ever done that before?” 

Burchett said, “No,” and after some shuffling was heard, he addressed McCarthy, asking, “What kind of chicken move is that?”

He reportedly proceeded to call McCarthy “pathetic” and a “jerk.”

Tuesday evening, Burchett went on Jesse Watters’ Fox News show to describe the situation. He stated, “I don’t know why he did it. I’m afraid it’s just a sad asterisk on his, the end of his career as it spirals out of control.”

When questioned about McCarthy’s denial of the incident, Burchett said, “You have an NPR reporter who gave the report. I think… I think, why would she lie?”

“I mean, she’s not exactly gonna be on my side on politics,“ he concluded. 

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