Feds’ Matt Gaetz investigation now includes focus on his campaign funds: report

The federal investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) includes a probe into whether he may have misused campaign funds.

"Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida and a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, according to three people briefed on the matter. Investigators are examining whether Mr. Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws, the people said. A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value," The New York Times reported Tuesday. "The Justice Department regularly prosecutes such cases, and offenders often receive severe sentences.

"It was not clear how Mr. Gaetz met the girl, believed to be 17 at the time of encounters about two years ago that investigators are scrutinizing, according to two of the people," the newspaper reported. "The investigation was opened in the final months of the Trump administration under Attorney General William P. Barr, the two people said. Given Mr. Gaetz's national profile, senior Justice Department officials in Washington — including some appointed by Mr. Trump — were notified of the investigation, the people said."

The investigation also includes a focus on his campaign funds, CNN senior editor Pervaiz Shallwan reports.