Federal investigators from the Justice Department are analyzing a trip Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) took to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019, according to CBS News.

Gaetz joined Jason Pirozzolo, a surgeon and marijuana entrepreneur, on a trip to the tropical island where Pirozzolo allegedly paid travel expenses and accommodations for female escorts. Investigators are working to see if the travel constitutes illegal sex trafficking.

The Justice Department has not made public comments on the allegations, but a spokesperson for Gaetz released a statement Wednesday. “Rep. Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What began with blaring headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults. Yesterday, we even learned of some nonsense ‘pardon’ story that turned out to be false, and today it’s just more euphemism. It’s interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down.” The spokesperson is referring to reports that Gaetz sought a blanket pardon from former President Donald Trump.

Investigators may also be looking into whether or not Gaetz engaged in a quid pro quo with the marijuana entrepreneur. Gaetz introduced the Medical Cannabis Research Act both in 2018 and 2019, legislation Pirozzolo had supported. Pirozzolo said in a podcast interview in 2018 that, “Congressman Matt Gaetz is in the process of working on legislation up in Washington, D.C., that will help facilitate research on the nationwide level. And we should see a lot of good benefit from them. We’ve got Congressmen that are actually dealing with this federal legislation right now.”


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