ABC News reports the latest on allegations that flamboyant Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz has sexual proclivities that, as former President Donald Trump once infamously said of Jeff Epstein as a compliment, run on the “younger side.”
Which is the polite way to describe alleged sex trafficking of minors:
The federal investigation targeting Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is specifically looking into whether he and an associate in his home state of Florida provided cash or others things of value to women they had sex with after connecting online, The New York Times first reported Thursday evening and a source familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.
Gaetz’s associate, former local politician Joel Greenberg, was indicted last year for allegedly trafficking a teenage girl for sex in 2017, and the Justice Department is also trying to determine whether Gaetz had sex with the 17-year-old, according to sources. Greenberg pleaded not guilty to the charges…
“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement to The New York Times. “Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. Matt Gaetz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life.”
But CNN has salacious new details about Gaetz’s inappropriate workplace behavior that seem very difficult to explain away:
Behind the scenes, Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress over his relationships with women and bragging about his sexual escapades to his colleagues, multiple sources told CNN.
Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources told CNN, including while on the House floor. The sources, including two people directly shown the material, said Gaetz displayed the images of women on his phone and talked about having sex with them. One of the videos showed a naked woman with a hula hoop, according to one source.
Apparently the allegation that Rep. Gaetz maintained a kind of “point system” to compare his work-related sexual conquests with other like-minded young male lawmakers is not new, as the Orlando Weekly reported in January of 2020:
In a Twitter clapback for the Capitol Hill ages, Florida state Rep. Chris Latvala accused Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz of designing a “game” with a point system for “sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators.”
…The last mention of the sex game came in 2013 from then-Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo on, where else, Twitter, where he said a source informed him of a game played by “young male” state reps. The point system for the game, which was rumored to continue in 2014 and 2015, demeaningly awarded one point for a having sex with a lobbyist, two for a staffer, three for another legislator and six for a married legislator. [Pols emphasis]
Sometime after the denial above was issued by Rep. Gaetz’s office this week, his communications director resigned, and by all accounts Gaetz’s ongoing prospects are fading fast as his disinterest in building alliances even with fellow Republicans comes home to roost. As it turns out, creepy blowhards who don’t accomplish anything also tend to not have friends when they need them most! Call it the “Ted Cruz effect.”
And as Florida Politics’ Scott Powers writes, that includes plenty of fellow members of Congress who have directly benefited from Gaetz’s largesse, like Gaetz’s fast friend and on-air tag team partner Rep. Lauren Boebert:
Outside of Florida, Gaetz bequeathed $2,000 apiece to such conservative congressional luminaries as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Lee Zeldin of New York, Darrell Issa of California, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Chip Roy of Texas, and dozens of others.
Greene and Jordan, who know what it’s like to need friends in troubled times, have come to Gaetz’ defense. The others? Not so much.
Rep. Boebert’s silence about the compounding allegations facing Gaetz could become untenable in the event it’s determined that Gaetz used campaign funds to fund what amounts to sex trafficking under federal law. At the very least, Boebert would be obliged to return donations from Gaetz. And if Boebert based on her own experience is not inclined to defend Gaetz from these allegations about how he treats female subordinates and colleagues?
Well, that’s noteworthy too.