Nathan Nelson, a former aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), told reporters on Monday that he was questioned by the FBI last week as part of an investigation into the lawmaker, with agents wanting to know why Nelson resigned last fall.
Gaetz's office arranged for Nelson to speak, and publicized the fact that he would be making remarks from outside his home in Santa Rosa, Florida, The New York Times reports. Last week, the Times reported that the Department of Justice began investigating Gaetz, 38, during the Trump administration, and is said to be looking into whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid women he recruited to have sex.
Nelson, a retired Air Force captain, began advising Gaetz on military issues in 2017, and stepped down in 2020. He told reporters FBI agents showed up to interview him without warning last Wednesday because they believed he may have resigned after learning that Gaetz was involved in "illegal activities." Nelson denied this, and although he said he doesn't have "specific knowledge" of the investigation, he feels the allegations are "baseless" and "an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative."
In a Washington Examiner op-ed published Monday, Gaetz echoed Nelson, writing that he is being targeted by "partisan crooks." People with knowledge of the investigation told the Times Gaetz's case is part of a larger investigation into Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz associate and former tax collector of Seminole County, Florida. Greenberg has been charged with child sex trafficking, stalking, and identity theft.