GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is being investigated by the Department of Justice regarding an alleged relationship he had with a 17-year-old girl and the possibility that he violated sex trafficking laws by paying her to travel with him, according to multiple reports.
The congressman’s office confirmed to The New York Times that Luke Ball, the communications director for Gaetz, has resigned.
Gaetz released a statement saying he and his family have “been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official.”
During an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Gaetz denied the allegations and named the DOJ official as David McGee. The law firm where McGee is a partner has called Gaetz’s claims “false and defamatory.”
Luke Ball, a longtime aide to Mr. Gaetz who was serving as his communications director, did not publicly give a reason for his departure and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Federal prosecutors are examining whether Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and a political ally who is facing sex trafficking allegations may have paid underage girls or offered them gifts in exchange for sex, two people familiar with the matter told AP.