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Defiant Gaetz tells GOP conference the 'truth will prevail'

A defiant Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz associate Joel Greenberg expected to plead guilty next week Buckingham Palace requests 'Trump Train' remove image of queen from bus Kinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote MORE (R-Fla.) told a crowd in Florida on Friday that he would not be intimidated by sex allegations against him, vowing the "truth will prevail."

Gaetz has come under scrutiny over allegations of a sexual relationship with an underage girl. The Florida Republican has denied having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old amid reports of a Justice Department investigation.

On Friday, the House Ethics Committee also opened an investigation into the congressman, citing allegations of "sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use" and claims that he shared nude photos of young women with his House colleagues.

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Gaetz in a speech at the Save America Summit later Friday touted support from former President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE and others amid the probes, telling those gathered at Trump National Doral, "I have not yet begun to fight."

"Let me assure you, I have not yet begun to fight for the country I love and for the nation that I know benefits from America First principles. I'm built for the battle, and I'm not going anywhere," he said.

"I won't be intimidated by a lying media," he added during his speech. "And I won't be extorted by a former DOJ [Department of Justice] official and the crooks he is working with. The truth will prevail!"

 

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The New York Times reported that Gaetz was being investigated by the DOJ following an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl and a possible violation of sex trafficking laws. Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing.

Gaetz has asserted that he and his family were the targets of an extortion scheme by a former DOJ official, though that official has denied the allegation.

The GOP lawmaker has acquired legal representation amid the DOJ probe and has signaled he has no plans to step down from his seat. 

Trump appeared to defend Gaetz in a statement earlier this week, emphasizing that the Florida Republican "has totally denied the accusations against him."