Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), 38, is facing calls to resign from other lawmakers after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz has strenuously denied the allegations.
According to a recent CNN article, Gaetz reportedly showed lawmakers photographs and videos of naked women and discussed his sexual affairs with them, such as on the Senate floor.
Gaetz allegedly showed his coworkers photos of women on his phone and spoke about having sex with them. There has been no suggestion that these suspected images are related to the DOJ investigation.
Investigators also said that Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Seminole County, Fla., who was arrested last year on a federal sex trafficking charge and other offenses, met numerous women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments through a website that exchanges dates for gifts and travel. Then, the women were introduced to Gaetz by Greenberg. Gaetz requested the women in several situations to help him find other women who might be involved in having sex with him and his mates, The New York Times reported.
After new baseless details of the probe emerged, Meghan McCain, a conservative analyst, and the late Republican senator John McCain’s daughter is leading calls for Rep. Matt Gaetz to resign in a tweet. She also said on Fox News on Tuesday that Matt Gaetz insists it isn’t real, and we don’t have any facts. So let’s gather all the data.
This is vile, abhorrent and beneath the office he holds. No woman in congress should feel comfortable working with him. Resign. (also don't start with the cancel culture bullshit, any man in any place would be fired for this garbage) https://t.co/7UORhVAMjS
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 1, 2021
Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) also tweeted that if Rep. Matt Gaetz was involved in sex trafficking, he should resign and face criminal charges.
Dear @GOPLeader: You don’t seem to get it. If it’s true Rep Matt Gaetz engaged in sex trafficking, he needs to resign and be prosecuted. In the meantime, you can’t have Gaetz sitting on the Congressional Committee that has oversight over the Department that is investigating him. https://t.co/b6NJ31j19b
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 31, 2021
Gaetz has denied the allegations and claims to be the target of a $25 million extortion scheme organized by former federal prosecutor David McGee.
Gaetz has accused a former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) worker of colluding with powerful criminal groups to extort tens of millions of dollars from him and his loved ones.
“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,” he said on Twitter.
DOJ investigators are deciding whether the Republican breached any federal sex trafficking regulations when he was still single and allegedly paid for his unnamed companion’s airfare and accommodation expenses.
“No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation,” he said.
The congressman, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, suspects the matter was leaked to mainstream media to undermine the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) current investigation. Since the previous Trump administration’s final months, authorities have examined the case, and its existence was only recently reported widely.
“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,” said Gaetz. “The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation.”
He urged the department to fully cooperate with the FBI investigation and provide all available evidence to help prove exactly who tried to extort money from him.
“I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations,” he said.
Gaetz also dismissed at least one media report about his future career plans because it wrongly stated which congressional district he represents.
“This article [about me considering a job vacancy at Newsmax] identifies me as a ‘South Florida’ congressman, which I am obviously not,” he said on Twitter. “Perhaps that verifiably false reporting will cause people to question the accuracy of other claims made in this piece.”
The Hill speculated the probe was part of a broader investigation into Gaetz’s political ally and former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg,charged with child sex trafficking and paying at least one female minor for adult services.
Gaetz was not charged with any wrongdoing at the time of publication, according to The Hill.
“I only know that it has to do with women,” he said according to The Hill. “I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”