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gaetz investigation

Report: Gaetz investigation focuses on payments to women

The Justice Department investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) now concerns payments he and an indicted Florida politician made to women allegedly recruited online for sex, The New York Times reports.

Investigators suspect the other politician, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, of initiating contact with the women through websites used to arrange dates in exchange for gifts and allowances, the Times reports, citing people close to the investigation as well as text messages and payment receipts the newspaper reviewed. One of the women said she had sex with both men after Greenberg met her online and introduced her to the Republican congressman.

The investigation of Gaetz is also looking into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg was indicted last year on several federal charges, including a sex trafficking count involving the same girl, the Times reports.

Gaetz, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, has denied ever paying a woman for sex.