Gaetz trip to Bahamas part of federal sex trafficking investigation: report

A trip to the Bahamas taken by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) with a marijuana entrepreneur is reportedly part of a federal sex trafficking investigation into the congressman.

Multiple sources told CBS News that Gaetz took the trip with Jason Pirozzolo sometime between late 2018 and early 2019. The sources said that the entrepreneur allegedly paid for travel expenses, accommodations and female escorts.

The news outlet reported that authorities are looking into whether the escorts traveled across state or international lines for the purposes of sex with Gaetz and if he accepted paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors.

Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and chairman of the board for the Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, said in podcast in 2018 that Gaetz was working on legislation that would “help facilitate research on the nationwide level,” according to CBS.

CBS also reported that Pirozzolo donated $1,000 to Gaetz’s campaign in March 2016 and May 2017.

The report is the latest in a string of developments into a probe of the congressman since The New York Times first reported last week that the Justice Department was investigating whether Gaetz had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year old girl.

Most recently, the newspaper reported that Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon from former President Trump and other congressional allies. Trump denied the report in a statement on Wednesday.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl. In a statement to CBS News, his office also denied the latest report. 

“Rep. Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl. What began with blaring headlines about ‘sex trafficking’ has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults,” his office said.

“Yesterday, we even learned of some nonsense ‘pardon’ story that turned out to be false, and today it’s just more euphemism,” his office continued. “It’s interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down.” 

The Hill has reached out to Gaetz’s office for comment.

Tags Department of Justice Donald Trump Florida Matt Gaetz matt gaetz investigation
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