The scandal surrounding Florida congressman Matt Gaetz keeps growing. Now, the person whose job it is to spin for the embattled lawmaker is gone.
Luke Ball’s resignation as communications director comes amid reports Gaetz is under federal investigation for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17 year-old girl and potential sex trafficking violations. While Gaetz has denied the allegations and claims he’s the victim of an extortion attempt, the New York Times reports the DOJ probe is focused on Gaetz and a former Florida politician named Joel Greenberg for their involvement with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments. That’s according to people close to the investigation as well as text messages and payment receipts that were reviewed by Times reporters.
Investigators say Greenberg met the women through websites, then introduced them to Gaetz, who would reportedly have sex with them. Payments would be made through cash apps. Gaetz has denied ever paying a woman for sex.
The lurid allegations against him don’t stop there. He’s also said to have shown photos of naked women he had relations with to other members of Congress.
Then there’s this ABC News story, which alleges that when he was in the Florida House of Representatives, Gaetz was part of a squad of young legislators who created a twisted game to keep score of their sexual conquests.
Staffers aren’t the only ones apparently scrambling to put distance between them and Gaetz. CNN’s Dana Bash said on Friday morning that fellow republican lawmakers are texting her what they think of the outspoken representative…and it’s not exactly words of support.
After spending the past few years jumping in front of any microphone he could find to support then-President Trump or to antagonize other lawmakers — even fellow republicans — it looks like Gaetz has found the spotlight a bit too bright right now. He hasn’t appeared on TV since that bizarre interview with Tucker Carlson that seems to have gotten him shadow-banned from Fox News. Gaetz’s office did not respond to a comment about today’s latest allegations, maybe it’s because his main spokesperson had just quit.
Perhaps the 38 year-old Gaetz really is considering leaving Congress for Newsmax, after all. Even if he does that, it won’t make his current problems disappear.