Politics Gaetz trip to Bahamas part of federal sex trafficking investigation: report
GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Tom Reed face House Ethics Committee investigations
Two Republican congressmen, Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Tom Reed of New York, are under separate investigations by the House Ethics Committee.Reed is accused of inappropriately touching a woman at a bar four years ago, and Gaetz faces a laundry list of allegations in connection with a Justice Department investigation.
A trip to the Bahamas taken by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) with a marijuana entrepreneur is reportedly part of a federal sex trafficking investigation into the congressmen.
Multiple sources that Gaetz took the trip with Jason Pirozzolo sometime between late 2018 and early 2019. The sources said that the entrepreneur allegedly paid for travel expenses, accommodations and female escorts.
The news outlet reported that authorities are looking into whether the escorts traveled across state or international lines for the purposes of sex with Gaetz and if he accepted paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors.
A GOP congressman, a sex-trafficking probe, and a $25 million extortion plot: Here's everything we know about 'Gaetzgate'
Reports of a sex crimes investigation morphed into an elaborate saga involving ex-government officials and a US hostage who's presumed dead.Less than a week later, the lawmaker got his wish.
Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and chairman of the board for the Medical Marijuana Physicians Association (AMMPA), said in podcast in 2018 that Gaetz was working on legislation that would "help facilitate research on the nationwide level," according to CBS.
CBS also reported that Pirozzolo donated $1,000 two Gaetz's campaign in March 2016 and May 2017.
Video: Gaetz defiantly pointing fingers amid DOJ investigation (MSNBC)
The report is the latest in a string of developments into a probe of the congressman since the New York Times first reported last week that the Justice Department was investigating whether Gaetz had relationship with a 17-year old girl.
Most recently, the newspaper reported that Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon from former President Trump and other congressional allies. Trump denied the report on Wednesday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz's media blitz publicized a federal investigation. Legal experts say that poses risks
Rep. Matt Gaetz is pursuing a risky strategy in publicizing a federal investigation against him, according to legal experts.Gaetz, R-Fla., a high-profile advocate for former President Donald Trump and a firebrand against Democrats in Congress, announced Tuesday he was under investigation. But he said on Twitter and in an interview on Fox News that he is the victim of an extortion plot and has denied having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl or paying women for sex, as alleged in the investigation first reported by The New York Times.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl. In a statement to CBS News, his office also denied the latest report.
"Rep. Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What began with blaring headlines about 'sex trafficking' has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults," his office said.
"Yesterday, we even learned of some nonsense 'pardon' story that turned out to be false, and today it's just more euphemism," his office continued. "It's interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down," the statement continued.
The Hill has reached out to Gaetz's office for comment.
Matt Gaetz is using sex-trafficking allegations to raise money, asking for donations to 'fight back against the fake news' .
It was reported last week that the DOJ was investigating whether Rep. Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her travel.Last week, The New York Times reported that the GOP representative was under investigation for possibly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her travel, which could be a violation fo sex-trafficking laws.