Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), an ardent Trump ally, is under federal investigation over issues including potential child sex trafficking and possibly paying women for sex in apparent potential violation of federal anti-prostitution provisions, and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has now reiterated his call for the Congressman’s removal from the House Judiciary Committee for the course of this probe.
As Lieu put it:
‘I reiterate again that it’s a conflict of interest for a Member of Congress to sit on the congressional committee that has oversight over the FBI at the same time the FBI is actively investigating him. @GOPLeader must remove Rep Gaetz from House Judiciary Committee immediately.’
I reiterate again that it’s a conflict of interest for a Member of Congress to sit on the congressional committee that has oversight over the FBI at the same time the FBI is actively investigating him. @GOPLeader must remove Rep Gaetz from House Judiciary Committee immediately. https://t.co/A3IPTrDjzo
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 5, 2021
Gaetz has claimed in response to the allegations against him that the claims are part of a supposed extortion plot targeting his family, but the issues appear to be definitively separate. The claimed plot got going well after media reports reveal that the investigation began. Bob Kent, an ex-Air Force intelligence officer, has admitted to the media that he presented Matt’s father Don with a proposal for the older Gaetz’s financial assistance in locating former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran and is believed by credible authorities to be dead, but Kent insists that his proposal was not in any way some kind of threat.
‘When I left, the last thing I told Don Gaetz was that you’ll never hear from me again. I’m not a threat to you or your son. I won’t talk to the press. I’m not going to say a bad word about him.’
Allegations that authorities are exploring include the possibility that the Congressman paid for a 17-year-old to travel with him under the pretenses of sexual interactions, which would constitute child sex trafficking. Gaetz is also suspected of potentially paying for sex with at least one woman who was also involved with ex-Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz associate who is in prison awaiting trial on a slew of charges including child sex trafficking. A recent report from the Daily Mail claimed that Greenberg was “singing to the feds” about Gaetz.