Matt Gaetz investigation now includes public corruption allegations: report

Matt Gaetz investigation now includes public corruption allegations: report
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz speaking with supporters at an "An Address to Young Americans" event, featuring President Donald Trump, hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

As the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) continues, federal authorities are now taking a more in-depth look at his previous trip to the Bahamas.

According to CNN, sources with knowledge of the investigation have revealed prosecutors working for the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section are trying to determine whether or not the Florida lawmaker "took gifts, including travel and paid escorts, in exchange for political favors."

Investigators with the federal agency are now looking to uncover evidence of "potential public corruption." Insiders also suggest that investigators are "scrutinizing Gaetz's connections to medical marijuana, both in terms of legislation he's sponsored and his connections to people involved in the industry, searching for so-called pay-to-play arrangements."

The Florida lawmaker has a reputation for advocating for medical marijuana and has supported a number of legislative pieces in hopes of passing the measure. The publication notes that one of Gaetz's close affiliates, Jason Pirozzolo, is a Florida doctor and founder of a medical cannabis advocacy group. In the past, he has also been described as a "marijuana investor." According to multiple reports, Pirozzolo is said to have traveled to the Bahamas with Gaetz.

The latest news comes as Gaetz faces an ongoing investigation into his alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girl. So far, multiple women have come forward with details about his alleged drug usage and wild parties. The Florida lawmaker's ally, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg is also at the center of a scandal.

Last summer, he found himself at the center of controversy when he was hit with charges when federal investigators arrested him on charges of stalking and child sex trafficking which opened the door for an investigative probe that subsequently uncovered details about his ties to Gaetz.

As of Saturday, April 24, Gaetz and Pirozzolo have not been accused of crimes but the investigation will be ongoing.

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