Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is reportedly being investigated by federal authorities, who’re probing whether or not he had intercourse with a 17-year-old girl and violated intercourse trafficking legal guidelines.
The Division of Justice initiated the probe, three sources informed The New York Occasions, which is alleged to stem from an current investigation into one in every of Gaetz’s political allies, Joel Greenberg, who was indicted final summer time on expenses together with intercourse trafficking of a kid.
Gaetz, 38, has denied the allegations and stated he’s cooperating with the FBI.
“Within the strongest doable phrases. I deny that I’ve ever been with somebody underage,” he informed The Submit Tuesday. “That’s false.”
He added that he grew to become conscious of the probe after two of his ex-girlfriends have been contacted by authorities.
“They have been requested why I had given them airplane tickets, cash, and different interactions. They have been of their 20s,” he stated.
Federal investigators are probing whether or not Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl — whom he reportedly interacted with two years in the past — to journey with him. It’s unlawful to steer anybody below 18 to journey throughout state strains for intercourse in change for items.
The lawmaker informed The Occasions he suspects anyone is attempting to extort him and his household for $25 million.
“I’ve a suspicion that somebody is attempting to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as one thing extra untoward,” he informed the newspaper.
He added in a collection of tweets Tuesday night time that he and his household have been working with the feds in an investigation that entails a former DOJ official searching for to extort him.
“My father has even been sporting a wire on the FBI’s path to catch these criminals. The planted leak to the FBI tonight was supposed to thwart that investigation,” Gaetz wrote.
“I demand the DOJ instantly launch the tapes, made at their path, which implicate their former colleague in crimes towards me primarily based on false allegations,” he added.
Gaetz, who received engaged final December to Ginger Luckey, informed The Submit that he had dated a girl for 3 years after she was in a relationship with Greenberg.
“That’s our connection,” he stated.
Greenberg, a former tax collector from the Orlando space, pleaded not responsible final 12 months to the fees towards him, the Occasions reported. He was jailed this month for violating his bail.