Politico reports that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is currently the subject of a federal sex-crimes investigation, had his cellphone seized by federal authorities last year. His then-girlfriend’s phone was also taken, the news outlet reported.
Gaetz, who has not been charged, has consistently denied the two anonymous claims against him: that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for sex.
Gaetz’s predicament as the subject of a serious investigation became clearer this winter when federal agents executed a search warrant and seized his iPhone, according to interviews with three people who were told of the matter by Gaetz, who changed his phone number in late December. Around that time, the sources said, federal agents also seized his former girlfriend’s phone before she went into work in the morning. She declined comment.
The details were reported amid a larger story involving a 2018 trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas with other Florida Republicans and a number of young women.
The group took off for their Bahamas weekend getaway on three separate flights. Most of the passengers, which included at least five young women, flew out of Orlando on two separate private planes. Matt Gaetz flew commercial.
The details of that September 2018 trip are sparse, but they are critical to the allegations against Gaetz, the Florida congressman currently the subject of a federal sex-crimes investigation that is threatening his career.
In the Bahamas, Gaetz was joined by two GOP allies: Halsey Beshears, then a state legislator, and Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and Republican fundraiser for DeSantis, according to three sources, including one who was part of the group.
Politico reported that also on the trip was “the former minor who is key to the investigation, whose presence on the trip was previously unreported.”
According to one of the women in the group who spoke on condition of anonymity, everyone on the trip was over the age of 18 — including the woman in question, who had turned 18 years old months before the trip, she said.
The woman was born in December 1999, according to a personal website, but POLITICO has been unable to confirm the woman’s official date of birth.
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