Another day, another new development in Matt Gaetz’s teen sex scandal.
Multiple sources tell CBS News that the antigay congressman jetted down to the Bahamas with campaign donor/marijuana entrepreneur Jason Pirozzolo sometime in late 2018/early 2019. Along for the ride was a group of female escorts, who had all of their travel expenses and accommodations paid for by the businessman.
Authorities are said to be looking into whether the escorts traveled across state or international lines for the primary purpose of having sex with Gaetz, and whether Pirozzolo was then granted special political access or legislative favors for bankrolling the sexy getaway.
In 2018, Pirozzolo, who serves as chairman of the board for the Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, told an interviewer that Gaetz was in the process of writing legislation that would “help facilitate research on the nationwide level.”
“We should see a lot of good benefit from them,” Pirozzolo said. “We’ve got Congressmen that are actually dealing with this federal legislation right now.”
Gaetz eventually introduced the Medical Cannabis Research Act in April 2018. He tried again in January 2019. Both times, his efforts in securing votes were unsuccessful.
So why is this such a big deal?
Well, according to former prosecutor Arlo Devlin-Brown, if the allegations prove to be true, then Gaetz broke a ton of laws.
“Traveling across state lines is what creates a federal hook for a prosecution,” he told CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell this week. “It doesn’t matter that [Gaetz] personally paid them as long as he knows someone is doing that.”
Devlin-Brown added, “If there’s evidence of a quid pro quo that the congressman was provided with benefits in return for him sponsoring some legislation that’s of interest to the donor, that that’s a federal crime.”
As for Gaetz, he’s denying everything. In a statement, his office said he’s “never paid for sex” and called reports of sex trafficking nothing more than “fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults.”
“It’s interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down,” the statement said.
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.