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DOJ Investigates Matt Gaetz for Sex Trafficking and Statutory Rape

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The Department of Justice is allegedly looking into claims that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel at his side, which both carry serious criminal charges if found to be true.

According to a New York Times article published Tuesday afternoon, three sources “briefed on the matter” spilled the beans about the DOJ investigation. Depending on the outcome of the probe, Gaetz could be facing serious state and federal charges. 

Florida defines the age of consent as 18 years old — the 38-year-old congressman would not be protected under the state’s Romeo and Juliet law, which legalizes sex between 16- or 17-year-olds as long as the sexual partner is no more than 23 years old. He may also be on the hook for federal charges related to sex trafficking and violations of several statutes that make it a crime to persuade a minor to cross state lines for sexual purposes in exchange for money or other forms of value. Convictions under those statues can and often do carry hefty sentences.

Apparently, the DOJ began digging into the claims while the agency was still helmed by former Attorney General Bill Barr, but the Gaetz angle emerged as part of a broader investigation into a man by the name of Joel Greenberg. Greenberg, a close Gaetz ally and former Seminole County tax collector, was indicted last summer for a slew of nasty charges, including child sex trafficking and basically playing creepy sugar daddy to at least one underage girl.

Rep. Matt Gaetz is allegedly being investigated by the Department of Justice for having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her to travel at his side. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Gaetz and his legal team say they were previously informed that he was a subject, and not the target, of an investigation that had something “to do with women” and added that he suspects “someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.” 

In an odd plot twist, the congressman Tuesday claimed the investigation is an attempt to extort $25 million from him and his family.

Gaetz, who was interviewed Tuesday, denies traveling “with a 17-year-old woman” and firmly said he has no plans to resign from his congressional seat.

However, Axios and subsequent media outlets reported earlier Tuesday that he is considering early retirement from his job on Capitol Hill with his eye on a cushy host spot at Newsmax. The afternoon’s investigation news adds a whole new element to why he may be looking to escape life as an elected official.

Gaetz consistently stood as one of the former president’s most ardent supporters and allies, and infamously mocked pandemic safety measures by wearing a gas mask into House chambers, only to later test positive for coronavirus antibodies, meaning he’d contracted COVID-19 somewhere along the line. The representative, who is not well liked outside MAGA circles, was also doused by a protester with a projectile beverage in June 2019.

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

1 Comment

  1. zak
    April 1, 2021 at 11:23 am — Reply

    The Romeo and Juliet law in Florida does NOT make it legal to have sex with minors. Rather in certain cases where the offender is no more than four years older than the victim, the offender might not have to register as a sex offender, if the victim was a willing participant and the offender has no prior history of sex crimes on their record. If convicted, the offender may still be subject to fines and imprisonment.

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