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Scalise: House would 'take action' against Gaetz if DOJ filed charges

Scalise: House would 'take action' against Gaetz if DOJ filed charges
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseCheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' Graham warns about trying to 'drive' Trump from GOP: 'Half the people will leave' Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (La.), the No. 2 Republican in the House, on Wednesday, promised that his party and the Democratic majority would "take action" against Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Federal investigators seeking cooperation from former Gaetz girlfriend, second key witness: CNN GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote MORE (R-Fla.) if the Justice Department was to file "formal" charges against the Florida lawmaker related to an ongoing sex trafficking investigation.

Scalise, the House minority whip, told reporters at a news conference that he had yet to speak to Gaetz about the reports and said that lawmakers "want to get the facts" on what transpired.

Gaetz is the subject of a Justice Department investigation also involving his close associate, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, which has resulted in numerous charges for Greenberg so far including sex trafficking of a minor.

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Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations.

"There's nothing we've seen from the Department of Justice ... right now it's hard to speculate on rumors, but if something really formal happened from Justice, we would of course react and take action,” Scalise told reporters.

"I haven't talked to [Gaetz] to get his explanation of what's been alleged. It’s serious things alleged. Obviously, we want to get the facts."

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Scalise added that he expected to speak with the embattled Florida congressman in the coming days.

Gaetz has denied that he ever paid for sex, while alleging that he is the target of an extortion campaign.

Greenberg, who was indicted last year, is expected to strike a plea deal with investigators soon, according to The New York Times, and could end up cooperating in the investigation surrounding Gaetz's activities.