Embattled GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz said on Friday he has no plans of stepping down after coming under fire following reports that the Department of Justice is investigating him for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor and a possible violation of sex trafficking laws.
The Florida Republican told The Hill in a text exchange that “rumors he plans to resign from his office are ‘false’ and it is ‘very safe’ to say he doesn’t have any intention to do so.”
Gaetz, a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump, was thrown into the spotlight after The New York Times reported the DOJ investigation on Tuesday evening, with a second report emerging Thursday detailing accusations that he and a former Florida county tax collector, Joel Greenberg, paid multiple women who were recruited for sex online and payments he made to prostitutes using Apple Pay.
The controversial lawmaker has vehemently denied he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, stating during an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson that he is being accused of having relations with a teenager that “does not exist.”
He alleged in that interview that he and his family “are targets in an extortion scheme from a former DOJ official seeking millions of dollars to make the accusations disappear.”
As noted by The Hill, however, the DOJ official denied Gaetz’s claims that he has attempted to extort the congressman or members of his family.