Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has hired a legal team to defend him against “unfounded” sex trafficking allegations involving underage girls that are being investigated by the Justice Department.
“Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution,” a spokesperson for the congressman told Fox News on Friday.
“He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him.”
Gaetz’s legal team will be led by Manhattan-based attorneys Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kishner, who the spokesperson said “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.”
The Florida Republican has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
“It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie … The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false,” Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview on March 30.
“The allegation, as I’ve read it in The New York Times, is that I’ve traveled with some 17-year-old in some relationship. That is false and records will bear that out to be false.”
The New York Times was the first to report Gaetz was being investigated by the Justice Department over the alleged relationship as well as a possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws.
“A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value,” The Times reported.
“You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,” he said. “I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
The lawmaker said he believes he is a victim of an extortion plot against his family by a former DOJ official.
As of Friday, charges have not been filed against Gaetz, according to Fox News.
After the sex trafficking probe was reported, other allegations against the congressman began to surface.
Sources told CNN that Gaetz would allegedly brag about his sexual conquests and show other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he had slept with.
A female Republican insider who worked with Gaetz reportedly told Business Insider that Gaetz and other Florida lawmakers would participate in a sex competition when they served in the state’s House of Representatives.
According to the source, lawmakers could earn “extra points” by sleeping with a married legislator or spending the night in a college sorority house.
Gaetz has denied any knowledge of the sex competition in Tallahassee, Florida, which was reportedly described as the “worst kept secret.”
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