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Meghan McCain: Matt Gaetz Should Resign - ‘Probably Going to Jail’

Matt Gaetz

In response to the report, Gaetz denied the allegations in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson.

The sex-trafficking investigation of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz began when Attorney General Bill Barr led the Department of Justice, but that did not stop the pro-Donald Trump Republican from pointing the finger at Attorney General Merrick Garland. Also on Monday, Vanity Fair published an op-ed by Hill where she acknowledged that Gaetz was one of the few people who defended her after nude photos of her were leaked online, but said now he is "accused of doing just that" and should resign "immediately" if any of the allegations are true.

"My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal", Gaetz wrote. Gaetz claimed the group said they needed the money to free former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Robert Levinson from captivity in Iran.

Gaetz did not mention the alleged plot in his op-ed. Instead, he wrote that the media was repeating false allegations that were nothing more than "a grown man" paying for an "adult girlfriend's expenses" and that the allegations came out because he "decided to take on the most powerful institutions in the Beltway". "Since I'm taking my turn under the gun, let me address the allegations against me directly. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old".

Bob Kent, a former Air Force intelligence officer, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "Prime Time" that - despite Gaetz's claims - he never tried to extort money from Gaetz's father, and that such claims are not part of the Justice Department investigation into allegations involving sex trafficking and prostitution.

My personal life is and always has been conducted on my own time and my own dime.

Nelson left Gaetz's office in late October of past year, The New York Post reported, in what he called a "planned departure" in order to support "the military missions in a private capacity" in the Florida Panhandle.

Gaetz's article was published the same day a former congressional aide told reporters he was interviewed last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., said he was transferring 2020 campaign donations from Gaetz to an organization supporting domestic abuse survivors.

Nelson provided no specific details about the FBI's questioning.

Nelson said he left Gaetz's office because of a planned departure to promote workforce development for the defense industry.

"I'm here to state this morning that nothing could be further from the truth", Nelson said at the press conference in front of his home. "You know, I haven't had the opportunity to speak to Congressman Gaetz in several months", Nelson said.

He added, "This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated and merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative".