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Rep. Matt Gaetz probed for possible sex trafficking of girl, 17, report says — he claims extortion

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The Department of Justice is investigating whether Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her travels with him, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The government is examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws, according to the newspaper, which cited three people briefed on the probe. The congressman has not been charged.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The Justice Department declined to comment to CNBC on the Times report.

Gaetz, a 38-year-old conservative firebrand and close ally of former President Donald Trump, denied the reported allegations against him. He said that he is being threatened in a $25 million “organized criminal extortion” scheme.

Gaetz went on to say he was cooperating with the FBI and his father “has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction.”

Gaetz told Axios on Tuesday that he did not know what the specific allegations against him were.

Asked what they might relate to, Gaetz told Axios: “I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I’ve dated. You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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