Feds probing whether Bahamas trip was part of effort to influence Gaetz: report
As part of the ongoing probe against Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, federal authorities are looking into whether a trip he took to the Bahamas in 2018 involved political corruption, CNN reports.
Prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are investigating if Gaetz received gifts in return for political favors from people associated with the medical marijuana industry.
The embattled representative’s connections to industry insiders and his sponsorship on related legislation is being evaluated, according to CNN.
The potential marijuana connection is the latest to come out of the probe into Gaetz, who is accused of being involved in sex trafficking. Other allegations include that he has taken illegal drugs and brought nude photos of women he’s been sexually involved with onto the floor of the House, where he showed them off to other lawmakers.
Among the things being looked into regarding the medical marijuana claims are his voting record surrounding cannabis for medical purposes and that his associate Jason Pirozzolo, a Florida doctor and industry insider, accompanied him on the Bahamas trip.
Shortly after Gaetz introduced and helped pass legislation that would allow Florida residents and doctors access to a strain of medical marijuana in 2014, Pirozzolo launched his medical marijuana consulting company, CNN notes.
Gaetz has continuously denied all of the allegations against him, and has refused to step down in the face of calls for him to do so. He has not been charged by the Justice Department or formally accused of any wrongdoing.