Politico ridiculed for accusing Matt Gaetz of vacationing with ‘former minor’

Amid ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Politico has found a new and ingenious way to describe an underage girl he supposedly dated, calling her a “former minor” even after she became an adult.

The girl at the center of the allegations was allegedly 17 when Gaetz, a pro-Trump Republican, supposedly paid her money for sex and to accompany him on trips. Aside from his relationship with her, Gaetz is accused of paying multiple adult women for sex, some using campaign funds. The Democrat-run House Ethics Committee is investigating the allegations, as is the Justice Department.

Politico revealed some details from the Justice Department investigation on Tuesday, claiming that federal agents seized Gaetz’ phone last winter, and are probing a 2018 trip the congressman took to the Bahamas with at least five young women, according to three secondhand sources and one of the women. While these women were adults, Politico referred to one as the “former minor” at the heart of the scandal.

The phrasing was instantly mocked online, given that the entire adult population of the world could be accurately described as “former minors.” 

Gaetz has not been charged with any offense. However, despite Politico’s apparent attempt to describe an “adult” in the most incriminatory way possible, the Florida representative could still be in deep trouble. Politico’s source said that some of the women on the Bahamas trip met Gaetz through a ‘sugar daddy’ website, where young women seek wealthy, older men to finance their lifestyles. Gaetz denies being on these sites.

If it could be proven that Gaetz paid these women for sex, he could be charged with transporting them across state lines for the purposes of prostitution.

Gaetz denies any wrongdoing, and has refused to resign. He claims that the case against him was cooked up as a distraction from an ongoing FBI investigation into an alleged attempt to extort his family out of $25 million. Gaetz accused former DOJ prosecutor David McGee of being behind the scheme. McGee has denied the accusations.

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