Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is currently under federal criminal investigation for issues including potential child sex trafficking and possibly paying women for sex in violation of federal anti-prostitution provisions, is now facing a demand for his immediate resignation from Anna Eskamani, a prominent Democratic member of the Florida state House who has interacted with Gaetz in the past. Eskamani shared her call for Gaetz’s resignation on Twitter alongside a link to an Orlando Sentinel story outlining Gaetz’s opposition to legislation outlawing nonconsensual pornography while he served in the state House prior to his election to Congress.
According to former Florida state Rep. Tom Goodson, a Republican, Gaetz opposed legislation outlawing nonconsensual sharing of adult images because, once sent something from a partner, he “thought the picture was his to do with what he wanted.” As Eskamani put it in response:
‘Matt Gaetz needs to resign— immediately! Also if YOU know anything about the offensive behavior of Gaetz & his colleagues then share it. We are all going to find out soon enough.’
Matt Gaetz needs to resign— immediately!
Also if YOU know anything about the offensive behavior of Gaetz & his colleagues then share it. We are all going to find out soon enough. 🧾 https://t.co/ZI1f53A7aP
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) April 5, 2021
Eskamani was first elected to the Florida state House after Gaetz left the chamber for Congress, but she has already figured into the recent volley of scandals that have enveloped the Congressman. In 2019, Eskamani received a voicemail message from Gaetz and then-Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who has since been jailed on charges including child sex trafficking and is awaiting trial. In the voicemail message, Greenberg referred to himself as “your favorite tax collector” and said that he and Gaetz — who was present with Greenberg and chimed in — had been “just chatting about you and your lovely qualities.”
Gaetz’s association with Greenberg goes back to at least 2017, when the now former county official posted a photo of himself with the Congressman and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone. More recently, Greenberg visited the White House with Gaetz in 2019. According to recent reporting, federal investigators have been looking into whether Gaetz paid at least one woman for sex who had also been involved with Greenberg. According to The Washington Post, Gaetz “repeatedly boasted to people involved in Florida politics about women he met through” Greenberg. Gaetz has also been accused of showing adult images of women with whom he had sexual interactions to colleagues on the U.S. House floor.
Gaetz has alleged that the claims against him are part of some kind of extortion plot targeting his family, but by his own telling, this claimed extortion scheme got going well after reports state that the federal investigation began. Ex-Air Force intelligence officer Bob Kent has admitted that he got in touch with the Congressman’s father regarding a proposition to use financial support from the older Gaetz to find ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran and is believed to be dead, but Kent insists that his plan was in no way an extortion threat. Kent said while on CNN that there were “no threats” and “no demands.”