During a press conference on Wednesday, the Lousiana Republican was asked if he has “confidence” in Gaetz.
“You know, we’ve heard a lot of stories. Obviously, I’ve read a lot of media reports,” Scalise responded. “But there’s been nothing that we’ve seen yet from the Department of Justice.”
He added, “If something’s going on, we’ll find out about it. You know, right now it’s hard to speculate on rumors, but if something really formal happened from [the DOJ], we would, of course, react and take action.”
Watch the video below:
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Gaetz:
"It's hard to speculate on rumors, but if something really formal happened from Justice we would of course react and take action." pic.twitter.com/cJGjom922o
— The Recount (@therecount) April 14, 2021
The New York Times reported on March 30 that Gaetz is facing a federal investigation into whether he had sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him, which would violate federal sex trafficking laws.
He has not been charged with a crime and has denied allegations of wrongdoing.
However, media reports have highlighted Gaetz’s alleged sordid behavior at late-night parties, which his office has pushed back on.
While the investigation is apparently ongoing, Gaetz’s Republican colleagues have been reluctant to call for his resignation or offer an outright defense of him.
Shortly after news of the investigation broke, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said during an appearance on Fox News, “Look, I haven’t heard from DOJ. I haven’t been able to talk to Matt Gaetz yet. I just read the story.”
“Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that was the case. But right now, Matt Gaetz says it is not true, and we don’t have any information. So let’s get all the information,” he added.
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