Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) exits D.C. Superior Court in late November after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge. (Washington Post)

The House Ethics Committee plans to formally investigate Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) following his arrest and guilty plea for cocaine possession.

A panel of lawmakers led by Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) will determine whether Radel violated the House Code of Conduct or broke any other laws or regulations related to his responsibilities as a lawmaker.

The launch of a formal probe may compel the panel to ask Radel about his history of substance abuse and ultimately could result in a formal reprimand by the full House.