- Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly attended drug-fueled parties where attendees sometimes had sex.
- After the parties, money sometimes changed hands, CNN reported on Wednesday.
- Gaetz made payments between 2018 and 2019 to at least one woman who went to the parties.
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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz was a fixture at parties that frequently involved drug use and sex, and after which money sometimes exchanged hands, CNN reported.
Two women who attended several of the parties told the news outlet that the events took place in Florida and often featured men who were active in local Republican politics. CNN reported that the first thing some women were told to do was put their phones away because the men didn’t want the parties to be documented on social media or in photographs.
Partygoers would share drugs like ecstasy and cocaine, and “some had sex,” the report said. After some of the parties, money was sent to some attendees, and CNN said it viewed digital receipts showing that Gaetz and his associate Joel Greenberg used payment apps to send “hundreds of dollars to at least one woman who attended the parties.”
The payments are said to have been made between 2018 and 2019 and the label for at least one of them said it was for travel expenses.
These details are likely of high interest to federal investigators who are probing whether the Florida congressman had a sexual relationship with a minor and broke federal sex-trafficking laws. Greenberg, who has already been indicted on 33 counts, appears to be close to a plea deal and has been cooperating with prosecutors against Gaetz since last year.
Greenberg gave investigators information about an “array of topics,” according to The New York Times, including telling them that he and Gaetz had interactions with women who were given cash and gifts in exchange for sex.
Politico also reported that the feds obtained a search warrant and seized Gaetz’s iPhone in December. The report said that Gaetz changed his phone number last year and that investigators also seized his former girlfriend’s phone in November.
The GOP lawmaker has fervently denied the allegations against him and claimed the Justice Department’s investigation into him is part of an elaborate and convoluted scheme to extort his family for millions of dollars. A spokesperson for Gaetz did not directly respond to CNN’s request for comment but questioned the use of anonymous sources.
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