First GOP lawmakers calls for Gaetz’s resignation
The first congressional Republican has called for the resignation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), whom the Justice Department is investigating for alleged sex with a minor and possibly violating federal sex trafficking laws.
On Thursday night, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) tweeted: “Matt Gaetz needs to resign.” His tweet shared a Daily Beast report that Gaetz had paid alleged sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, an associate of his, $900, which Greenberg sent hours later to three teenage girls. Greenberg, who is facing dozens of charges, is reportedly expected to strike a plea deal with federal prosecutors in his criminal case.
Kinzinger, who’s served in the House since 2011, has made a name for himself more recently for not being afraid to go after fellow Republicans when he feels they need to be held accountable. Notably, he was one of 10 House GOP lawmakers to vote in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump shortly following the January 6 Capitol riot. The Illinois Republican also voted to strip GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) of her committee assignments back in February.
Last week, The New York Times was the first to report that the Justice Department was investigating Gaetz over allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paying for her travel. The Florida Republican has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying he’s “absolutely not resigning.”
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Significantly, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said that Republicans would support stripping Gaetz of his committee assignments if these allegations are proven to be true.
“Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that’s the case,” McCarthy told Fox News last week. “But right now Matt Gaetz says that it’s not true and we don’t have any information. So let’s get all the information.”
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In the wake of last week’s revelations from The Times, new sex-related allegations against Gaetz have arisen.
Thursday last week, CNN, citing multiple sources, reported that the vocal Trump ally would allegedly show fellow lawmakers—even while on the House floor—photos and videos of women he had sex with. Gaetz has denied this.
A female GOP insider also reportedly told Business Insider in a piece last Friday that when Gaetz used to serve in the Florida statehouse, he and other lawmakers would play a “sex challenge” game, something which had been previously reported in lesser detail.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.