Ex-Gaetz aide defends former boss amid sex trafficking probe

A former staffer for embattled Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzOn The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows House lawmakers urge Pelosi to bring stock trading ban to the floor Mask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House MORE (R-Fla.) said Monday he had told the FBI he had no knowledge or evidence that Gaetz had an inappropriate relationship with a minor, saying he believed the accusations against his former boss were "baseless."

At a press even organized by Gaetz's office, Nathan Nelson, a retired Air Force captain who previously served as Gaetz’s director of military affairs, denied he left the Gaetz team over the allegations.

Nelson said he met with FBI agents for roughly two hours last week, who he said contacted him stating that members of the media said he had information pertaining to the probe. 

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"They told me that members of the media reached out to them asserting that I had previous knowledge of Congressman Gaetz's illegal activities," he said. "They asserted that because of that knowledge, I resigned from my position as director of military affairs. I'm here this morning to state that nothing could be further from the truth.

"This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated,” he said.

Nelson, who said he remains an informal adviser to the congressman, went on to say that while he believes the allegations are “merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative,” he does not personally have any information to discredit the probe. 

“I'm not here to provide any degree of evidence in support of Congressman Gaetz, only to discredit these allegations,” he said. 

The New York Times reported last week that the Department of Justice has launched a federal probe into whether he paid women, including a potential minor, for sexual favors.  

Gaetz — who rose in prominence as a firebrand conservative and one of former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE’s most vocal allies — has vehemently denied the allegations launched against him, while arguing he is the victim of an extortion scheme.