Federal investigators are investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz went to the Bahamas with women and in particular whether those women were paid to travel for sex, which could be in violation of federal law, a law enforcement official and another person familiar with the case said.
Investigators are also looking into whether Gaetz, R-Fla., And one of his associates used the Internet to search for women they could pay for sex, the sources said.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with a crime, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
There has been no response to a request for comment sent to its representatives.
In a statement to CBS News, which first reported investigators looking for a trip to the Bahamas, a spokesman said Gaetz denies the innuendo.
“Rep. Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What started with screaming headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ has now grown into a general fishing exercise about holidays and consensual relationships with adults,” the spokesman said. .
The New York Times reported last week that the Justice Department was investigating whether Gaetz had had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, citing three people who were on the matter informed.
Law enforcement sources have confirmed to NBC News that the investigation stemmed from an investigation into someone else, Joel Micah Greenberg, who is awaiting trial on allegations of human trafficking, stalking and identity fraud. Greenberg pleaded not guilty.
On the night The Times reported her story, Gaetz said that “none of the charges against me are true” and claimed that his family had been the victim of a $ 25 million extortion plot with threats to taint his name.
Gaetz said in an op-ed published Monday that he is not a criminal and will not resign.
“Since I’ve been under firearms in turn, I want to address the allegations against me directly. First, I never paid for sex. And second, as a grown man, I haven’t slept with a 17-year-old,” Gaetz wrote in the Washington Examiner.
He said the “bizarre” claims were made after he “decided to take on the most powerful institutions in the Beltway.”