WASHINGTON—Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) mentioned Monday he is not going to depart Congress and denied that he “slept with” an underage woman, suggesting that accusations towards him stem from political foes indignant that he “loathes the swamp.”
The Florida Republican, beginning his fifth yr in Congress, has been battling to protect his political profession since studies final week that he’s underneath federal investigation for attainable intercourse crimes. In a column within the Washington Examiner, a conservative information outlet, Gaetz predicted that “some of my feckless colleagues in Congress” will name for him to step down.
“No, I am absolutely not resigning,” he wrote Monday.
A high-profile ally of former President Donald Trump, Gaetz has to date acquired virtually no public help from his congressional Republican colleagues and none from the previous president.
Gaetz, 38, is underneath scrutiny over whether or not he violated federal intercourse trafficking legal guidelines, together with if he had intercourse with a 17-year-old and different underage women, paid them, or supplied presents in change for intercourse. That’s in line with folks acquainted with the investigation who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they might not talk about particulars publicly.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crimes, denied the accusations Monday.
“First, I have never, ever paid for sex,” he wrote. “And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.”
Engaged since New Year’s Eve, he wrote, “My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal.”
Gaetz used his column to assault Democrats, information organizations, and others, saying his enemies are “just repeating false allegations about a congressman who loathes the swamp and fights both sides of it on a daily basis.”
He additionally predicted, “I’m sure some partisan crooks in Merrick Garland’s Justice Department want to pervert the truth and the law to go after me.”
The FBI, the Biden administration’s Justice Department, and “the Cheney political dynasty” had been among the many entities Gaetz accused of unjustly concentrating on him.
The Justice Department investigation started final yr whereas Trump was nonetheless president. Gaetz helped lead an unsuccessful battle in January to depose Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, from her job as No. 3 House GOP chief. Days earlier, she was amongst simply 10 House Republicans to vote to question Trump.
Gaetz’s article was printed the identical day a former congressional aide advised reporters he was interviewed final week by the FBI. Nathan Nelson, a navy adviser who left Gaetz’s workplace in October, mentioned he was questioned about whether or not he’d left that job as a result of he knew of Gaetz’s “involvement in illegal activities.”
“I’m here this morning to state that nothing could be farther from the truth. Neither I nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz’s staff had any knowledge of illegal activities,” Nelson mentioned at his dwelling in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
Nelson supplied no particular particulars in regards to the FBI’s questioning. Without detailing them, he mentioned he believes the costs towards Gaetz are false.
By Alan Fram