TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A former staffer to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he was interviewed by the FBI about the reported allegations against the congressman.
Retired Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson, Gaetz’s former director of military affairs held a press conference at his home in Santa Rosa Beach to discuss his encounter with the FBI.
The Justice Department is said to be investigating whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old and other underage girls and violated federal sex trafficking laws after he allegedly paid the teen to travel with him, the New York Times reported.
Gaetz has denied the accusations, claiming they were part of an ongoing extortion campaign by former DOJ official David McGee of Florida, of which he is a victim.
Nelson said FBI agents claimed to have information from the “media” that he was aware of the congressman’s alleged illegal activities, which was why he allegedly chose to leave his job in October.
“Neither I nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz staff had any knowledge of illegal activities,” Nelson told reporters Monday. “This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated and merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative.”
When a reporter asked why the allegations were baseless, Nelson admitted he had no proof or evidence, but that the defense community was standing with the congressman.
Nelson said he left his job to pursue other projects supporting the military, but that he remains “loosely affiliated” with Gaetz’s office as a “military advisor.” The press conference was promoted by the congressman’s office, but Nelson said he is not paid by them and hasn’t spoken to Gaetz in months.
Gaetz has not been charged with a crime.