The list of things that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has absolutely positively not exchanged for sex is long and growing.
The crux of Gaetz’s defense to the spiraling and sordid allegations against him is that he never paid for sex. Period. End of sentence.
“I have never, ever paid for sex,” Gaetz wrote in an April 5 op-ed for the Washington Examiner.
Those gifts? Nope. The vacations? Nah. Legislative favors? Why, never.
It was never about sex, Gaetz strenuously maintains.
So we set to compile a list of the things Matt Gaetz did not exchange for sex.
Gaetz did not exchange any official acts for sex.
The situation in which this happened the least was on a trip to the Bahamas that Gaetz reportedly took in 2018 with longtime friend and marijuana lobbyist Jason Pirozzolo.
Pirozzolo is a longtime advocate for various forms of medical marijuana and decriminalization. One of the new non-culture war issues that Gaetz has pushed during his time in Congress has been that of finding ways to legally regulate marijuana usage.
The Bahamas trip reportedly included at least five young women, who were so young that border officials purportedly questioned the group upon their return to the United States. CBS reports that Pirozzolo “allegedly paid for the travel expenses, accommodations, and female escorts, the sources said.”
Good thing for Gaetz, though: He did not offer or do anything in exchange for sex.
Gaetz neither sought nor provided “arrangements” for women in exchange for sex.
The “arrangement” in question is from Seeking Arrangement, a dating site focused on creating “sugar daddy” or “sugar momma” relationships in which one partner provides, according to the website, “fine dinners, exotic trips and allowances” in exchange for “companionship.”
Gaetz, along with his buddy, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, would reportedly host parties in which women from Seeking Arrangement would attend. The New York Times reported that Gaetz and Greenberg would also meet the women at hotels around Florida, with the men footing the bill.
The Florida congressman denies that he exchanged anything for any sex that he may or may not have had.
Gaetz did not exchange any drugs for sex.
From the allegations here as reported, it’s not clear exactly what drugs are alleged. We’re familiar with Gaetz’s advocacy for marijuana; it’s not clear if that’s what was on tap, though the New York Times reported that politicians at the Gaetz-Greenberg parties would take ecstasy with women at the gatherings.
Politico reported in April that federal prosecutors are investigating whether drugs were explicitly traded for sex.
But fortunately for Gaetz, there’s nothing to investigate. He has consistently denied since his infamous appearance on Tucker Carlson that he paid for sex in any way, shape, or form.
Gaetz did not exchange money for sex.
It’s the least convoluted of the alleged arrangements: cash in exchange for sexual favors.
The New York Times and the Daily Beast have both reported that money transfer apps like Venmo and CashApp appear to show transactions between Gaetz, Greenberg, and young women. The Daily Beast’s report says that Gaetz venmo-ed Greenberg, who then sent cash onwards to an 18-year-old recipient.
“The last time I had a sexual relationship with a seventeen year old, I was seventeen,” Gaetz told the Daily Beast.