On Friday, the Wall Street Journal quoted former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) saying that Florida Republicans know that the political career of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is over — and that politicians don't recover from scandals of this sort.
"His political brethren are already jockeying to take his seat. They're not insulating him — they're already assuming that Matt's political career is over," said Jolly, a moderate Republican and longtime critic of former President Donald Trump and his allies. "These scandals hit a certain point where there's no escape. We've clearly hit that point for Matt in Florida politics."
For the time being, Gaetz has no plans to resign, telling reporters in a text that "of course" he wouldn't step down.
Gaetz, a key ally of Trump in Congress, is facing a Department of Justice investigation into whether he paid to transport a minor over state lines for sex. He is also facing allegations that he may have used drugs or campaign cash in his transactions with women he slept with, and that he shared naked pictures of his sexual conquests with people in the U.S. Capitol.
He denies all of these accusations and claims he and his family are victims of an extortion racket by a former Justice Department official.