The Florida Democratic Party is urging Congressman Matt Gaetz to resign after news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating the Republican to determine if he violated federal sex trafficking laws.
Gaetz, who represents parts of western Florida, has known for months that he was under federal investigation over accusations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him, according to the Associated Press.
The congressman has confirmed the investigation but denied the allegations tied to the probe, claiming he is the victim of an extortion plot.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said that Gaetz will be removed from his committees if the charges are proven to be accurate.
Gaetz has also been accused of showing nude photos to his colleagues on the House floor, among other things.
“Even as we await the results of the investigation into his child sex trafficking, we know enough details to know the Congressman can no longer properly govern and be trusted to represent the best interests of his constituents. Congressman Gaetz has created a toxic and inappropriate work environment for women throughout his career and is not fit to lead,” the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) wrote in a statement sent to WJCT News.
On top of urging Gaetz to resign, the FDP is calling on the state’s Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to speak out against their fellow Republican’s behavior.
The Florida GOP and Gaetz’s Republican allies appear to be, for the most part, avoiding taking a public position on the scandal for the time being.