Republicans “Sitting Back With Popcorn” As Matt Gaetz Investigation Proceeds
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has not been charged with a crime, and he says he’s innocent of the allegations leveled against him. Other Republicans say that they’re eagerly watching for the next development in his case.
The primary allegation is that Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, reportedly paying for her travel and other costs. While 17 is over the age of consent in many states, taking the teenager across state lines and compensating her financially could fall under child sex trafficking statutes. Gaetz denies this, as well as denying that he’s ever paid women for sex, though he admits to paying for hotel rooms and flights. However, as Forbes points out, the exculpatory ‘evidence’ he’s asserted is flimsy at best.
Now Business Insider reports that those closest to Gaetz don’t think his legal troubles are over. While his colleague, Joel Greenberg, has pled guilty to related crimes and is reportedly cooperating with authorities to turn over co-conspirators, Gaetz’s friends and other GOP members seem to be expecting the hammer to fall on the Florida Republican at any time.
His friends are reportedly avoiding contact with him, because they feel sure that any text sent to his phone might be subject to scrutiny by investigators. Gaetz’ associates told Business Insider that they’re wary because “…there’s 16 dozen people looking into everything that comes into that phone.”
However, those who’ve worked alongside him may be enjoying the show — one unnamed Florida Republican who worked with Gaetz said, “Everybody’s kind of sitting back with popcorn.”