On Saturday, The Guardian reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is rapidly becoming politically “isolated” as high-ranking Republicans refuse to come to his aid over his mounting scandals.
“Few Republicans have rushed to offer any kind of support to Gaetz, a three-term conservative provocateur known for support of Trump, high-volume attacks, sometimes against those in his own party, and frequent media appearances,” said the report. “The Associated Press reported that several lawmakers and aides who spoke on condition of anonymity said Gaetz’s prospects for remaining in Congress were complicated by his unpopularity in his own party.”
A handful of far-right members of Congress, including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have spoken up in support for Gaetz. But most of party leadership has remained silent. And even former President Donald Trump, who had a close relationship with Gaetz in office, has not voiced his support, in large part because his advisers have told him it’s a bad idea.
One GOP operative bluntly told The Guardian that as far as Trump’s circle is concerned on Gaetz, “a 10ft pole is not long enough.”
Gaetz is facing a federal sex trafficking investigation, and a number of allegations including that he paid to transport a 17-year-old girl across state lines for sex; that he might have procured drugs and illegally used campaign money in transactions with sex workers; and that he boastfully shared naked pictures of women he supposedly slept with to people on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
He denies all of these allegations, claims they are part of an extortion plot against him, and so far has refused to resign. One British tabloid is theorizing Gaetz could be facing an imminent indictment, although he says his lawyers believe him only to be a subject, not a criminal target, of the investigation.