Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had a rough week as the New York Times broke the bombshell story on Tuesday that he’s under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for his alleged sexual involvement with a 17-year-old girl.
According to The Hill, while pressure is mounting and rumors of his potential resignation swirl around Washington D.C., the Florida lawmaker made clear on Friday that he does not intend to resign, adding that the rumors are “false” and that it’s “very safe” to say he won’t be stepping down.
As The Times reported, under former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, the DOJ launched an investigation into Gaetz’s possible relationship with a teenager in which he was said to have allegedly had a sexual relationship with as well as paying her to travel across state lines with him, which if proven true, brings up charges of sex trafficking.
Later in the week, another angle to the story broke which alleged that Gaetz and Florida county tax collector, Joel Greenberg, were both involved in finding women online and paying them for sexual relationships, including traveling across state lines.
Within hours of the first story, Gaetz gave Fox News’ Tucker Carlson an exclusive interview to dispel any notion that he was involved in such activities. During that interview, he dropped another bombshell angle in which he claims he and his family were being extorted for tens of millions of dollars by a former DOJ official who allegedly claimed he would make the accusations go away for $25 million.
“The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman, and that is verifiably false,” Gaetz told Carlson. “What is happening is an extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official.”
According to a Saturday report from CBS News, Luke Ball, Gaetz’s communications director since 2017, resigned abruptly amid rumors of the sexual scandal. While Gaetz’s office wished Ball well and said that the two had reached a mutual agreement, a quick glance at social media feeds was full of speculation that Ball is getting out while he can, before things become worse.
As of this writing, Ball has not yet commented to the media why he suddenly resigned from his position.
Only time will tell what becomes of this potential scandal, but if Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media pursue Gaetz with the ferocity that they did former President Donald Trump, Gaetz might have an incredibly tough time hanging on to his job for much longer.