REP Matt Gaetz has been accused of paying sugar babies for ecstasy-fueled romps in hotels – though he maintains he has never paid for sex.
The Florida Republican is currently being probed by the Justice Department over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, a claim he's also denied.
A new report from The New York Times alleges that the investigation is focusing on payments made by Gaetz and Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida, to multiple women who were recruited online for sex.
The encounters occurred in 2019 and 2020, according to the Times, and Gaetz and Greenberg would allegedly instruct the women to meet them at hotels and specify the amount of money they were willing to pay.
Two people familiar with the meetings said some of those involved, including Gaetz, would take the drug ecstasy before having sex.
Gaetz's office issued a statement denying the new "disgusting" allegations on Thursday night to the Times.
"Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex," the statement said. "Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely."
"Matt Geatz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life."
The Times report also alleged that Greenberg initially met the women through websites that connect people who will go on dates in exchange for gifts or money with people who are willing to pay. The outlet cited three people familiar with the encounters.
Those people alleged that Greenberg introduced the women to Gaetz, who also had sex with them.
Greenberg was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges last year.
Gaetz, 38, is currently engaged to Ginger Luckey, a 26-year-old Harvard Business School student.
The new bombshell report comes days after news broke that the Justice Department was investigating Gaetz, who was an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Gaetz, however, has claimed that he and his father, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, were the targets of an $25million extortion plot and that's where the sex trafficking allegations stemmed from.
The representative claimed that former Air Force intelligence officer Robert Kent contacted his father about securing funding for an effort to rescue Robert Levinson, an American hostage being held in Iran for the past 14 years.
In the exchange, Kent allegedly suggested that if Gaetz were to help fund the rescue mission, it could lead to a pardon for Matt Gaetz for an undisclosed crime.
However, Kent told the Times that he was not trying to extort the family, but has simply heard a rumor that the younger Gaetz may be under investigation.
"I told him I’m not trying to extort, but if this were true, he might be interested in doing something good," he said.
No formal charges have been brought against Gaetz in the investigation thus far.
However, ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN on Wednesday that an investigation of this caliber would not have been opened if there wasn't "a significant degree of information."
"After 21 years of opening and overseeing, conducting investigations, I can tell you that nobody opens a sex trafficking investigation in which the subject is a sitting member of Congress without having a significant degree of information," McCabe said.
Source: Read Full Article