Gaetz’s female staffers defend boss amid DOJ probe
Female aides in embattled GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (Fla.) office are coming to his defense as the congressman faces a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a minor and sex trafficking laws.
The staffers said Gaetz has acted professionally in their presence and that they have not seen the GOP lawmaker act inappropriately, and they stand by him.
The statement was not signed by any staffers, and it did not specify how many women in Gaetz’s office had signed off on it. It was signed by “the women of the office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz.”
“After the shocking allegations last week in the press, we, the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office, feel morally obligated to speak out. During Congressman Gaetz’s time in office, we have been behind the scenes every step of the way. We have staffed his meetings. We have planned his events. We have traveled with him,” the women said in a statement released Thursday.
“And we have tracked his schedule. Congressman Gaetz has always been a principled and morally grounded leader. At no time has any one of us experienced or witnessed anything less than the utmost professionalism and respect. No hint of impropriety. No ounce of untruthfulness.”
The aides went on to state that Gaetz — who rose in profile as a regular on right-leaning television and one of former President Trump’s most vocal allies in Congress — has helped elevate women in the office.
“In our office and under Congressman Gaetz’s leadership, women are not only respected, but have been encouraged time and time again to grow, achieve more, and ultimately, know our value. Many of us started in entry-level positions and have been promoted to positions of leadership within the office. In our professional ecosystem, women are given every opportunity to advance and utilize our talents to help the country in the best possible way,” they continued.
“On every occasion he has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false.
“Congressman Gaetz will continue to lead by example and stand for the people of America who have been maligned by the liberal elite. And we will stand with him. While we recognize the scrutiny we will face for making this decision, we take comfort in the hope that more Americans and elected officials will stand up and refuse to remain silent.”
Gaetz first came under fire after The New York Times reported the Justice Department investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paying for sexual favors.
Gaetz has adamantly denied any wrongdoing, stating that he and his family are victims of an extortion scheme led by a former DOJ official.
The DOJ official has denied the accusations of extortion.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.