By ALAN FRAM, Related Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Matt Gaetz mentioned he won’t depart Congress and denied that he “slept with” an underage woman, suggesting that accusations in opposition to him stem from political foes indignant that he “loathes the swamp.”
The Florida Republican, beginning his fifth 12 months in Congress, has been battling to protect his political profession since studies final week that he’s beneath federal investigation for attainable intercourse crimes. In a column Monday within the Washington Examiner, a conservative information outlet, Gaetz predicted that “a few of my feckless colleagues in Congress” will name for him to step down.
“No, I’m completely not resigning,” he wrote.
An aggressive and high-profile ally of Donald Trump, Gaetz has up to now acquired virtually no public help from his congressional Republican colleagues and none from the previous president.
Gaetz, 38, is beneath 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 ladies, paid them or supplied items in change for intercourse. That is in response to folks acquainted with the investigation who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they may not focus on particulars publicly.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crimes, denied the accusations Monday.
“First, I’ve by no means, ever paid for intercourse,” he wrote. “And second, I, as an grownup man, haven’t slept with a 17-year-old.”
Engaged since New Yr’s Eve, he wrote, “My way of life of yesteryear could also be totally different from how I dwell now, however it was not and isn’t unlawful.”
Gaetz used his column to assault Democrats, information organizations and others, saying his enemies are “simply repeating false allegations a few congressman who loathes the swamp and fights either side of it every day.”
He additionally predicted, “I’m positive some partisan crooks in Merrick Garland’s Justice Division wish to pervert the reality and the legislation to go after me.”
The FBI, the Biden administration’s Justice Division and “the Cheney political dynasty” have been among the many entities Gaetz accused of unjustly concentrating on him.
The Justice Division investigation started final 12 months 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 Home GOP chief. Days earlier, she was amongst simply 10 Home Republicans to vote to question Trump.
Gaetz’s article was printed the identical day a former congressional aide instructed 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 unlawful actions.”
“I’m right here this morning to state that nothing might be farther from the reality. Neither I nor every other member of Congressman Gaetz’s employees had any data of unlawful actions,” Nelson mentioned at his dwelling in Santa Rosa Seaside, Florida.
Nelson supplied no particular particulars concerning the FBI’s questioning. With out detailing them, he mentioned he believes the fees in opposition to Gaetz are false.
Related Press author Bobby Caina Calvan in Santa Rosa Seaside, Florida, contributed to this report.
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