Matt Gaetz’s political career is disintegrating in real-time as new reporting reveals Gaetz allegedly engaged in drug-fueled orgies with women that he paid for sex.
Some of the men and women took ecstasy, an illegal hallucinogenic drug, before having sex, including Mr. Gaetz, two people familiar with the encounters said. In some cases, Mr. Gaetz asked women to help find others who might be interested in having sex with him and his friends, according to two people familiar with those conversations. Should anyone inquire about their relationships, one person said, Mr. Gaetz told the women to say that he had paid for hotel rooms and dinners as part of their dates.
It is not illegal to provide adults with free hotel stays, meals, and other gifts, but if prosecutors think they can prove that the payments to the women were for sex, they could accuse Mr. Gaetz of trafficking the women under “force, fraud or coercion.” For example, prosecutors have filed trafficking charges against people suspected of providing drugs in exchange for sex because feeding another person’s drug habit could be seen as a form of coercion.
Matt Gaetz continues to issue weak denials and push his extortion distraction, but the reality is that the investigation into Rep. Gaetz has gone deep and may have uncovered substantial criminality that goes far beyond the investigation into child sex trafficking.
Even if Gaetz is not criminally charged, it is impossible to see how his political career will continue. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is refusing to remove Gaetz from his committee assignments unless he is convicted, but it is difficult to image the voters in Gaetz’s conservative district sticking with him through these allegations.
Matt Gaetz isn’t going to get the conservative media job that he claimed to be exploring. The odds are better that Gaetz ends in a prison cell than on a television screen in the years to come.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association