Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is calling on fellow House Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL) to resign amid a federal investigation into allegations that he had sex with an underage girl and may have violated federal sex trafficking laws.
“Matt Gaetz needs to resign,” Kinzinger tweeted Thursday night, linking to a Daily Beast report that indicated the Florida congressman had allegedly made Venmo payments to young women presumably for sex, through his associate former Florida tax collector Joel Green, who was indicted on multiple charges including sex trafficking of a minor.
Gaetz has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied ever paying for sex or having sex with an underage girl but he appears to be growing increasingly isolated as details of the probe become public.
Last week, Gaetz’s communications director, Luke Ball resigned. The departure was quickly followed hours later by the resignation a second aide, Devin Murphy, people familiar with the decision told The New York Times.
Meanwhile, few GOP allies have been willing to defend Gaetz amid the allegations.
Gaetz appeared to have built a reputation in Florida politics for bragging about women he had met through Greenberg. Several people privy to Gaetz’s braggadocios behavior recently told the Post that the Republican lawmaker also showed off mobile videos of naked or topless women on multiple occasions.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Gaetz was said to have asked now former President Donald Trump for a preemptive blanket pardon during Trump’s final weeks in office — a request that came as the inquiry which was already underway.
Trump finally broke his own silence about Gaetz — one of his most staunch supporters– in a brief statement Wednesday morning saying that Gaetz had never asked him for a pardon.
“It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” Trump said.
On Monday, in an op-ed denying allegations against him, Gaetz said he “absolutely” wouldn’t resign.
“Predictably, the anti-Trump cheerleaders such as Meghan McCain, Bill Kristol, and sadly, some of my feckless colleagues in Congress are going to call for me to resign,” he wrote at the time.