Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., defended himself Monday against allegations involving sex with underage girls and trafficking as a former congressional aide stepped forward to vouch for his embattled ex-boss.
"This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated and merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative", Nelson said in a news conference organized by Gaetz's office.
He also added that he hasn't spoken with Gaetz for some time. An aggressive and high-profile ally of Donald Trump, Gaetz has so far received nearly no public support from his congressional Republican colleagues and none from the former president.
She concluded, "The most likely scenario is that Matt Gaetz slept with a 17-year-old and sex trafficked her, and he is probably gonna go to jail".
"First, I have never, ever paid for sex", he wrote.
Engaged since New Year's Eve, he wrote, "My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal". Given Mr. Gaetz's national profile, senior Justice Department officials in Washington - including some appointed by Mr. Trump - were notified of the investigation, the people said. "Neither I nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz's staff had any knowledge of illegal activities". Although I'm sure some partisan crooks in [Attorney General] Merrick Garland's Justice Department want to pervert the truth and the law to go after me, I will not be intimidated or extorted.
Gaetz is denying allegations that he paid women for sexual favors or was involved with any underage girls. Instead, the outspoken and increasingly politically outcast Florida Republican repeats the suggestion that he is the target of a political persecution that was initiated by the Biden administration. Gaetz helped lead an unsuccessful battle in January to depose Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, from her job as No 3 House GOP leader.
Nelson explained that the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed up at his home and interviewed him shortly after the allegations against Gaetz hit the news, and agents claimed media sources had contacted them asserting that Nelson left Gaetz's office because of the accusations surrounding the congressman.
"I'm here to state this morning that nothing could be further from the truth", Nelson said at the press conference in front of his home.
Nelson provided no specific details about the FBI's questioning. The private law firm where McGee works said in a public statement that Gaetz's allegations were false and defamatory.