Rep. Matt Gaetz Bahamas Trip With Female Escorts Started Sex-Trafficking Investigation: Report
Multiple sources told CBS News that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took a trip to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019 that started a federal sex trafficking investigation by the U.S. Justice Department:
Gaetz was on that trip with a marijuana entrepreneur and hand surgeon named Jason Pirozzolo, who allegedly paid for the travel expenses, accommodations, and female escorts.
Pirozzolo told Ganjapreneur.com in July 2018 that Gaetz was going to help move along federal research into the benefits of cannabis:
In fact, 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.
The U.S. Justice Department reportedly wants to know if escorts were illegally trafficked across state or international lines for sex with Gaetz.
Former prosecutor Arlo Devlin-Brown explained to CBS News why the federal government is involved:
Traveling across state lines is what creates a federal hook for a prosecution. It doesn’t matter that [Gaetz] personally paid them as long as he knows someone is doing that.
Gaetz’ spokesperson denied wrongdoing, again:
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.