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Matt Gaetz also reportedly under scrutiny for alleged skulduggery from ‘ghost’ candidate

The federal investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Which reportedly focused on possible violations of sex trafficking and sex with a 17-year-old girl, expanded to include a trip to the Bahamas with a GOP well connected. allies and businesses allegedly paid by women, as well as whether Gaetz was involved in managing a “ghost” third-party candidate in a Senate race to help an associate, The New York Times reports.

Gaetz has denied paying to have sex or having sex with a 17-year-old girl, but her alleged partner in recruiting women for sex, Joel Greenberg, is now expected to plead guilty and potentially return Gaetz, l lawyer for Greenberg and federal prosecutors suggested Thursday. Congressional Republican, Republican Adam Kinzinger (R-Wash.), Called on Gaetz to step down, and Gaetz’s chief executive, Devin Murphy, suddenly resigned last week on Times reports.

Investigators are in the early stages of their investigation into whether Gaetz worked with prominent Florida lobbyist Chris Dorworth to place a bogus third-party candidate in a Senate race to help Gaetz associate Jason Brodeur beat a rival Democrat for a free seat, the Times reports. Recruiting a “ghost” candidate to pitch a race against an opponent is generally legal, but paying them secretly to do so is frowned upon, legally speaking. In Brodeur’s case, a third candidate ran but barely campaigned, and airmen portrayed her as a Democrat, like Brodeur’s opponent.

Brodeur ultimately raised over $ 3 million for the race and won by 7600 votes; the third candidate, Jestine Iannotti, obtained 6,000 votes. Brodeur told the Times through a spokesperson he had nothing to do with Iannotti’s aviators and Dorworth said he had never met, communicated with or paid Iannotti, and does not recall discussing the management of a third party candidate with Gaetz.

“A shadow candidate project would be cheeky even in Florida, which has been fertile ground for improper political ploys,” Times reports, although two little-known third-party candidates in the last Miami election helped Republicans gain and maintain control of the state Senate. “In one of the Miami races, which was decided by 32 votes, an accused shadow candidate and a campaign supporter were charged with campaign fundraising charges.”

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