Rep. Matt Gaetz dodges questions on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz still won’t take direct questions from reporters about the allegations against him. According to reports, he’s under federal investigation for sex trafficking and campaign finance violations.
Gray Television Washington News Bureau Reporter Alana Austin spent the day on Capitol Hill trying to get his side of the story.
Ever since the allegations came to light about the Panhandle-area Congressman, Gray DC has been trying to offer him an opportunity to respond. Aside from sending a few broad press statements, current and former staffers have ignored calls, texts, emails and even social media messages requesting an interview.
So on Wednesday, when Congress was back in session, a crew visited his DC office on Capitol Hill but no one answered the door. Reporter Alana Austin left another message.
Gaetz was tracked down at the House Judiciary and Armed Services committee hearings, but he would not stop to take questions. The Congressman strongly denies ever paying for sex or having any involvement with underage girls.
-So far, fellow Republican Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) have called on Gaetz to resign. Members of the Florida Congressional delegation that we spoke with are not going that far, yet.
Florida GOP Senator Rick Scott is reserving judgment until all the facts come out.
“It’s pretty serious allegations…we need to have thorough investigation and then we’ll figure out what happens after that,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
Democratic Congressman Al Lawson has known Gaetz and his father well for years. While he says Gaetz deserves due process, he says lawmakers must always conduct themselves responsibly.
“Sometimes it’s a level of maturity in an individual and forget why we are there. We all are there to represent our constituents,” said Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.).
You can hear more of Lawson’s thoughts about the controversy and how the matter should be handled in the clip below:
Gaetz’s colleague from the GOP Florida conference, Rep. Kat Cammack, said she found the allegations against him “disturbing” but is withholding further judgment until the matters can be thoroughly investigated. You can watch her response in the clip below:
Gaetz has said he will fight all charges and will not step down from office. The Department of Justice and the FBI have declined to comment or confirm Gaetz is under investigation. The Gray Television Washington News Bureau reached out to his legal team but did not receive an immediate response.
A Congressional ethics investigation was just opened last week, but details will remain under wraps for the time being.
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