Federal investigators are investigating Representative Matt Gaetz’s trip to the Bahamas with women and more specifically whether these women were paid to travel for sex, which could violate federal law, a law enforcement official said. and another person close to the case.
Investigators are also investigating whether Gaetz, R-Fla., And one of his associates have used the internet to search for women they could pay for sex, the sources said.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
There was no response to a request for comment from its representatives.
In a statement to CBS News, which first reported that investigators were considering a trip to the Bahamas, a spokesperson said Gaetz denies the innuendo.
“Representative Gaetz has never paid for sex or had sex with an underage girl. What started with headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ turned into a fishing exercise general on vacations and consensual relations with adults, ”the spokesperson said. .
The New York Times reported last week that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him, citing three people with knowledge of the case.
Police sources confirmed to NBC News that the investigation originated in an investigation into someone else, Joel Micah Greenberg, who is awaiting trial on charges of trafficking, stalking and identity fraud. Greenberg has pleaded not guilty.
On the night the Times reported his story, Gaetz said “none of the allegations against me are true” and claimed that his family was the victim of a $ 25 million extortion plot involving threats to smear his name.
Gaetz said in an op-ed on Monday that he was not a criminal and would not resign.
“Since I take my turn under the gun, let me respond directly to the allegations against me. First, I never, ever paid for sex. And second, as an adult male, I have never, ever paid for sex. not slept with a 17. -old child, ”Gaetz writes in the Washington Examiner.
He said the “bizarre” claims were made after he “decided to attack the most powerful institutions on the ring road.”