Feds investigate Fla. Rep. Matt Gaetz about sex trafficking: report
Florida MP Matt Gaetz is reportedly under investigation by federal agencies investigating whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and violated sex trafficking laws.
The Justice Department opened the investigation, three sources told the New York Times, which allegedly came from an existing investigation by Gaetz’s political ally, Joel Greenberg, who was charged with child sex trafficking last summer, among other charges.
The 38-year-old Gaetz has denied the allegations and said he is cooperating with the FBI.
“In the strongest possible way. I deny ever having been with anyone who is a minor, ”he told the Post on Tuesday. “That’s wrong.”
He added that he became aware of the investigation after authorities contacted two of his ex-girlfriends.
“They were asked why I gave them plane tickets, money, and other interactions. You were in your twenties, ”he said.
Federal investigators are investigating whether Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl, with whom he reportedly interacted two years ago, to travel with him. It is illegal to convince anyone under the age of 18 to have sex across national lines in exchange for gifts.
Lawmakers told the Times they suspect someone is trying to blackmail him and his family for $ 25 million.
“I suspect someone is trying to classify my generosity towards ex-girlfriends as something more unpleasant,” he told the newspaper.
Gaetz, who got engaged to Ginger Luckey last December, told The Post that he dated a woman for three years after she was in a relationship with Greenberg.
“This is our connection,” he said.
Greenberg, a former Orlando area tax collector, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him last year, the Times reported. He was arrested this month for violating his bail.