Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s public integrity section have begun probing a trip to the Bahamas  Rep

Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s public integrity section have begun probing a trip to the Bahamas  Rep.Matt Gaetz and whether the by embattled Florida lawmaker accepted paid escorts as part of an influence campaign for medical marijuana.

The prosecutors are examining whether Gaetz accepted favors in exchange for official actions relating to marijuana legislation, which he has championed publicly.He has introduced legislation on the subject.</ reported earlier this month that DOJ was examining the trip, where Gaetz was accompanied by marijuana entrepreneur Dr Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and co-founder of The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association (AMMPA), in late 2018 or early 2019. 

Pirozzolo footed the bill for the travel expenses and accommodations – as well as female escorts, sources told the network.  

Investigators are allegedly looking into whether the escorts were illegally trafficked across state or international lines for the purpose of having sex with Gaetz.  

A trip Matt Gaetz (pictured) allegedly took to the Bahamas with a marijuana entrepreneur Jason Pirozzolo  over two years ago is reportedly being scrutinized by federal officials investigating sex trafficking allegations against the Florida congressman

Dr Jason Pirozzolo is a hand surgeon and co-founder of The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association

A trip Matt Gaetz (left) allegedly took to the Bahamas with a marijuana entrepreneur Jason Pirozzolo (right) over two years ago is reportedly being scrutinized by federal officials investigating sex trafficking allegations against the Florida congressman

Dr Jason Pirozzolo (right) is a hand surgeon and co-founder of The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association. He is pictured with his partner at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' State of the State address in 2019

Dr Jason Pirozzolo (right) is a hand surgeon and co-founder of The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association. He is pictured with his partner at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ State of the State address in 2019

Gaetz, a Republican congressman from Florida, is pictured with his fiancée Ginger Luckey

Gaetz, a Republican congressman from Florida, is pictured with his fiancée Ginger Luckey 

‘Traveling across state lines is what creates a federal hook for a prosecution,’ Arlo Devlin-Brown, a former prosecutor and partner at Covington & Burling, told CBS. 

‘It doesn’t matter that [Gaetz] personally paid them as long as he knows someone is doing that.’  

Investigators are also working to determine whether Gaetz accepted the escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors, the sources said. 

Prosecutors have not accused Gaetz or Pirozzolo of any wrongdoing.Gaetz has denied allegations against him and ever paying for sex. An attorney for Dr. Pirozzolo reached by DailyMail.com had no comment.

Gaetz told Fox News: ‘Providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you’re dating who are of legal age is not a crime,’ following reports about his interactions with Joel Greenberg, a former county tax commissioner in Florida. 

Investigators are also reportedly probing whether Gaetz was engaged in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl.A sex-trafficking charge against Greenberg reportedly involves the same girl.

‘If there’s evidence of a quid pro quo that the congressman was provided with benefits in return for him sponsoring some legislation that’s of interest to the donor, that’s a federal crime,’ Devlin-Brown said. 

Pirozzolo spoke about his ties to Gaetz in a July 2018 Ganjapreneur podcast, where he said he was working with the congressman to draw up federal legislation to bolster medical research of cannabis.  

‘Congressman Matt Gaetz is in the process of working on legislation up in Washington, DC, that will help facilitate research on the nationwide level.And we should see a lot of good benefit from them,’ Pirozzolo said. 

The podcast came three months after Gaetz introduced the Medical Cannabis Research Act in Congress. He introduced the bill again in January 2019, but both times it was not brought to a vote.   

Gaetz was a speaker at two conferences hosted by AMMPA, the organization Pirozzolo founded and serves as chairman of the board. 

The first conference Gaetz spoke at in October 2017 was followed immediately by a fundraiser for his congressional campaign, according to the Central Florida Post. The second conference was in May 2018.   

FEC records show that Pirozzolo made two separate $1,000 donations to Gaetz’ campaign in 2016 and 2017.  

Gaetz is seen speaking at an American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association conference in May 2018. Pirozzolo is a co-founder and chairman of the association

Gaetz is seen speaking at an American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association conference in May 2018.Pirozzolo is a co-founder and chairman of the association

Pirozzolo is pictured (right) at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' inauguration in 2019

Pirozzolo is pictured (right) at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ inauguration in 2019

Pirozzolo (left) is pictured meeting Donald Trump by Air Force One in Orlando in 2019

Pirozzolo (left) is pictured meeting Donald Trump by Air Force One in Orlando in 2019

Reports of the investigators’ interest in the Bahamas trip came as Gaetz was already facing a string of lurid allegations, including claims he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, was involved in a Harry Potter-themed sex game, paid for sex using Apple Pay and showed Congressional colleagues on the House floor photos of naked women. 

The Florida Republican has denied all allegations and gone on the offense, rapidly responding to the hits and appearing on conservative news networks to claim he’s the victim of a conspiracy. 

He claims he was targeted in an extortion plot involving former Justice Department official David McGee, who was trying to extort $25million from his family to help rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran. McGee denied Gaetz’s charge.  

As with the previous allegations, Gaetz’ office denied the claims in the CBS report about the Bahamas trip. 

‘Rep.Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with an underage girl,’ a spokesperson for the congressman said. 

‘What began with blaring headlines about “sex trafficking” has now turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults. 

‘Yesterday, we even learned of some nonsense “pardon” story that turned out to be false, and today it’s just more euphemism. 

‘It’s interesting to watch the Washington wheels grinding so hard every time one of their falsehoods gets knocked down.’ 

Donald Trump on Wednesday said Gaetz 'never' asked him for a pardon and offered a tepid defense of the embattled Florida Republican

Donald Trump on Wednesday said Gaetz ‘never’ asked him for a pardon and offered a tepid defense of the embattled Florida Republican 

Matt Gaetz at the House Armed Services Committee hearing in the Rayburn Building on April 20. Last month, it was revealed that Gaetz is under investigation for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and trafficking her across state lines

Rep.Matt Gaetz, izmir escort R-Fla., prepares for the House Armed Services Committee hearing titled National Security Challenges and U.S. Military Activities in the Greater Middle East and Africa, in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. He has been a top defender of former President Trump’s 

 

Trump insists Gaetz ‘never’ asked him for a pardon and says ‘remember he has denied the accusations’ in first statement on GOP Rep’s sex scandal

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news floatRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-340025b0-9807-11eb-bfd7-fb328333901b" website investigating whether Matt Gaetz paid for escorts on Bahamas trip

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