The Justice Department has focused on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) as a subject of investigation into a circle of lawmakers who allegedly recruited and paid women for sex. New findings show that Gaetz made online cash payments to women associated with a website used for to connect wealthy people with attractive, young singles, according to the New York Times. Gaetz has since denied ever paying for sex.

Justice Department investigators believe that Gaetz was referred the women, whom he subsequently paid, by Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector indicted in 2020 on a federal sex trafficking charge. A parallel inquiry seeking if Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and if she ever received payment. Greenberg had connections with the same girl.

Reviews of Gaetz and Greenberg’s Cash App and Apple Pay receipts also show that the two men made payments to the same woman. According to two people familiar with Gaetz and Greenberg’s arrangement, the payments were for sex the Times says.

“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” a Friday statement from Gaetz’s office said. “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.”

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It is not illegal for Gaetz to treat women to meals or give them gifts, but if the Justice Department can prove that Gaetz trafficked the women under force, fraud or coercion, his connections could constitute sex trafficking as in the case of Greenberg.

Lawyers representing Gaetz have since spoken to the Justice Department and confirmed that the Florida representative is the subject, not the target of an investigation. Being a subject implies that Gaetz is a witness of a crime or may offer meaningful testimony. Gaetz is not the target of a current Justice Department investigation.

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