Matt Gaetz: Floridian Representative Caught in Scandal


Noa Belehssen

Matt Gaetz, a United States Representative from Florida, is often known as one of Trump’s most loyal advocates. Question is, is he becoming more like Trump rather than for Trump with these sex scandals?

Lucia Chico, Staff Writer

As the noise from the Trump era begins to fade, a new scandal from one of Trump’s most loyal defenders, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, has recently broken headlines. The 38 year old lawyer ran to represent District 1 in Florida in 2016. Since then, he’s been serving his district while also managing to become the face of the more controversial branch of the Republican Party. Out of the many things he has done to raise eyebrows in Congress, the most recent investigation, on his possible involvement in the sex traficking of a minor, has Gaetz on thin ice.

In his short time in Congress, Gaetz has already launched himself to stardom through his savvy use of social media, eye-catching political stunts and connections from his father–a lifetime Florida politician. During a hearing session for one of the country’s first COVID-19 relief bills in March 2020, the congressman decided to make a statement by wearing a gas mask instead of a regular face covering.

Most recently, he traveled to the home district of Rebuplican Liz Chenney in Wyoming to hold a mini-rally where he attacked Chenny’s vote to impeach former president Trump and encouraged voters to reconsider voting for her next election. Trying to disencourage Republican voters to not vote for a sitting Republican is already looked at as a sin in the eyes of other GOP members, especially if the congresswoman being denounced is as well-liked as Liz Chenney.

The “frat boy” congressman, as some may describe him for his “unserious” persona, has reportedly shown images and videos of naked women who he claims to have slept with on the House floor— as in, the room of our legislative body. The place that hundreds of congress people gather in order to do their job for the American people. In any job that employs multiple people, workers must often go through some type of presentation or training that explains what one’s behavior in the workplace should be. Gaetz’s actions seemed to have not affected him, as his evidently inappropriate behavior rages on without repercussions.

Currently, Matt Gaetz is being investigated by the Department of Justice for possible sex traficking of a minor and prostitution. These investigations were prompted when Joel Greenberg, a friend of Gaetz, was indicted in August 2020 for various charges, including fraud, identity theft and sex traficking a minor. The minor is allegedly 17 years old and suspected to be involved in Gaetz’s case as well.

It’s crazy how you can never really know who you’re electing. This scandal is concerning, especially since he represents our state of Florida,

— freshman Beatriza Carvahlo

Back in late 2018, Gaetz travelled to The Bahamas with a marijuana entrepreneur and investigators are currently looking to see if women were illegally escorted. The New York Times reported that they had evidence proving that both men provided Cashapp or Apple Pay as payment towards women of legal age for sexual interactions.

If found guilty, at least on charges of prostitution, Gaetz would find himself and his political career nosediving. He would be stripped of committee assignments and of his position in Congress. If convicted for all possible charges, Gaetz would be looking at a very lengthy prison sentence.

The most surprising thing about this whole situation is unfortunately not the disgusting actions of the representative, but rather the lack of “Make America Great Again” support. Remember the time when these supporters claimed Democrats were all pedophiles and would do anything to save the children? So, why won’t they go against a man who clearly endangered a child? Most probable reason is due to Gaetz’ connections with former President Trump. In Trump’s eyes, he can do no wrong. Gaetz has continued to defend Trump under all circumstances, no matter how politically devastating it might’ve been. Gaetz has claimed that he is not guilty and that this is part of a witch hunt, claiming there is an extortion plot against him. Well, this explanation seems like the classic Trump-like thing to defend, yet only the laughing stock of the Republican party have defended him–Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“Usually, when a political party or their nominee loses an election, that party goes on the offensive- critiquing the other party in power and trying to put themselves in a better light. But what’s interesting about this Matt Gaetz situation, granted that there are other problems in the Republican Party at the moment, is that this controversy seems to be single handedly weighing down the offensive rhetoric that is typical of a party who has just lost an election,” sophomore Lucas Betancourt said.

The fact that Republicans have not rushed to protect Gaetz says a lot. Defending such allegations would be political suicide, especially since such drastic connections can be made to other legitimate investigations. Matt Gaetz, who probably believed he had made it big in the GOP, has found himself in a controversy he should never be able to recover from.