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Gaetz says he has no plans to retire as team shrinks amid Justice Department inquiry into money for sex accusations — RT USA News

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) has pushed back against calls for him to resign following his communications director stepping down amid an inquiry into allegations of a relationship with a minor and his having paid for sex.

Gaetz told The Hill on Friday that rumors he is leaving office are “false,” and it is “very safe” to say he will remain in office amid a Department of Justice (DOJ) inquiry into whether the congressman violated sex trafficking laws. 

The New York Times first reported the investigation on Tuesday, later following up with a more detailed report on Thursday. Investigators are alleging that Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida, who was indicted last year on multiple charges, including sex trafficking, paid for sexual encounters with women through various websites and introduced them to Gaetz, who also had sex with them. 

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The inquiry is looking into whether one of those physical encounters involving Gaetz included a 17-year-old girl. 

Gaetz, one of former president Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, has denied any wrongdoing and said the inquiry is part of an attempt by a DOJ official to extort money from him, even claiming the FBI is aware of the situation. He has also said the alleged minor “does not exist.” 

The weight of the accusations, however, has led many critics to call for Gaetz’s resignation. Gaetz’s communications director, Luke Ball, reportedly stepped down on Friday amid the controversy.

Speaking to the news platform Axios following reports of the DOJ inquiry, Gaetz said he was not the target of any investigation and had a “suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”

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