Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), the Florida congressman who has spent a lot of the past 2 yrs under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking, won his GOP primary Tuesday, likely ensuring another term representing his deep red panhandle district.
Gaetz beat back challenging from Vietnam War veteran and former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo, who had focused his campaign on Gaetzs legal woes.
In accordance with THE BRAND NEW York Times, the Justice Department has been investigating whether Gaetz broke federal law by recruiting women online for sex and paying them, including a person who could have been only 17 at that time. Gaetz denied having ever paid a female for sex, no indictments have already been disclosed.
The allegations surfaced in April 2021, from the arrest of Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector for Seminole County, on a sex trafficking charge.
Usually such revelations would sink a political career, but Gaetz has used the exposure instead to burnish his pro-Donald Trump credentials in his party and was rewarded with Trumps endorsement Saturday.
Gaetz, Trump said on his Truth Social platform where he posts after he was kicked from Twitter, would Fight the Never-Ending Witch Hunts from the Radical Left which are destroying our Country!
Gaetz was one of the members of Congress who have been thought to have asked Trump for pardons for potential crimes before Trump left office. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the congressional panel probing the Jan. 6 Capitol attack Gaetz had sought a blanket pardon.
The congressman have not shied from controversy, regardless of the swirl of allegations around him. In July, he joined 19 other House Republicans in voting against a non-controversial bill to renew the authorization of several anti-trafficking programs run by the departments of Justice, Health insurance and Human Services and Homeland Security.
Be offended.Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
Gaetz in addition has been critical of the looks of women who arrive at abortion rights rallies. Asked what he’d say to people offended by those comments, he replied, Be offended.
Gaetzs troubles have gone him a ripe target for critics of both him and of Trump. Marc Short, chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, said in a July interview on CNN he will be surprised if Gaetz could still lawfully vote in 2024, noting the congressmans appearance at a conservative student conference.
Its much more likely hell maintain prison for child sex trafficking by 2024. And Im actually surprised that Florida police still allows him to talk with teenage conferences like this. So Im not too concerned about Matt Gaetz, thanks, Short said.
This short article originally appeared on HuffPost and contains been updated.