Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is reportedly being investigated by federal authorities, who are probing whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and violated sex trafficking laws.
The Department of Justice initiated the probe, three sources told The New York Times, which is said to stem from an existing investigation into one of Gaetz’s political allies, Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last summer on charges including sex trafficking of a child.
Gaetz, 38, has denied the allegations and said he is cooperating with the FBI.
“In the strongest possible terms. I deny that I have ever been with someone underage,” he told The Post Tuesday. “That is false.”
He added that he became aware of the probe after two of his ex-girlfriends were contacted by authorities.
“They were asked why I had given them plane tickets, money, and other interactions. They were in their 20s,” he said.
Federal investigators are probing whether Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl — whom he reportedly interacted with two years ago — to travel with him. It is illegal to persuade anyone under 18 to travel across state lines for sex in exchange for gifts.
The lawmaker told The Times he suspects somebody is trying to extort him and his family for $25 million.
“I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward,” he told the newspaper.
Gaetz, who got engaged last December to Ginger Luckey, told The Post that he had dated a woman for three years after she was in a relationship with Greenberg.
“That’s our connection,” he said.
Greenberg, a former tax collector from the Orlando area, pleaded not guilty last year to the charges against him, the Times reported. He was jailed this month for violating his bail.