By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Florida congressman known for his criticisms of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is seeing major troubles in his life after it was announced last week he was being investigated for sex trafficking.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations he had sex with an underage girl and other women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.
Gaetz has denied all the allegations, but the hits seem to keep coming for the Florida representative.
On Thursday, an Illinois congressman called on Gaetz to resign, something he has refused to do since news of the investigation broke last week.
“Matt Gaetz needs to resign,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted Thursday night, linking to a Daily Beast article about allegations against Gaetz that included information about his Venmo transactions with an accused sex trafficker.
Gaetz has also been accused of using his cell phone while on the floor of Congress to show nude photos of women to other members of Congress, according to CNN.
Two of his staffers, his legislative director and communications director, have also resigned from their positions since the allegations have gone public, according to Forbes.
According to the Associated Press, Gaetz has hired prominent New York attorneys amid the probe.
“Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement Friday, adding that his lawyers “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.”
Gaetz has been in some type of political office since 2010, serving for six years in the Florida House of Representatives. He was elected to Congress in 2016 and has been known for his vehement support of former President Donald Trump.
In fact, Gaetz traveled to Wyoming earlier this year to speak out against Cheney for her impeachment vote against the former president for allegedly inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“The establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney are climbing in a deeply corrupt game,” Gaetz said during his Cheyenne appearance. “We do not have to be condemned to some grim fate.”
He also criticized Cheney’s support of military action abroad, saying she had blood on her hands.
“Every day, I see the cost of the wars Liz Cheney has advocated for,” he said. “I see the tearful goodbyes in airports, the marriages destroyed, the parenting that’s interrupted, the drug abuse, the suicides, lost limbs, lost minds, lost lives, lost hope.”
Gaetz was invited to the rally by Rep. Ocean Andrew, R-Laramie.