Female aides from Rep. Matt Gaetz’s office released a statement Thursday defending the Florida Republican, who faces a Justice Department investigation over whether he was sexually involved with a 17-year-old girl and violated sex trafficking laws.
The staffers wrote they “feel morally obliged” to speak out, adding that Gaetz has acted professionally in their presence and they have not seen the lawmaker acting inappropriately.
“During Congressman Gaetz’s time in office, we have been behind the scenes every step of the way. We have staffed his meetings. We have planned his events. We have traveled with him,” the women wrote in the statement.
They wrote that within Gaetz’s office, “women are not only respected, but have been encouraged time and time again to grow, achieve more, and ultimately, know our value.”
INBOX: "The Women of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz’s Office Speak Out in Defense of Rep. Gaetz" pic.twitter.com/xqEzSI4SSO
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) April 8, 2021
“On every occasion he has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false,” the letter added.
Joel Valdez, communications director for Gaetz’s office, told the Washington Examiner that he can confirm the “entire office” signed the statement, “which includes all 8 women staffers.”
Among those would be Alison Thomas, Gaetz’s scheduler who retweeted the statement, and Jillian Lane-Wyant, the congressman’s chief of staff.
News of the federal investigation, which began during the Trump administration, broke late last month.
Gaetz, who got engaged at the end of last year, has denied paying for sex or having sex with an underage girl. The congressman also claims his family was targeted by a $25 million extortion scheme, though the people he has named have denied there was extortion and called the assertion a distraction.
Luke Ball, who was the communications director for Gaetz, resigned last week. “The Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz and Luke Ball have agreed that it would be best to part ways. We thank him for his time in our office, and we wish him the best moving forward,” Gaetz’s office said.
Author: Kaelan Deese
Source: Washington Examiner: Female staffers from Matt Gaetz’s office reject ‘false’ allegations