- The New York Times reported a DOJ probe into Gaetz includes payments made to women.
- Sources told The Times that Gaetz had used ecstasy prior to sexual encounters with the women.
- In the past, Gaetz advocated for requiring recipients of public assistance to pass a drug test.
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According to a new report concerning a Justice Department investigation into GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, sources familiar with the events told The New York Times the Florida lawmaker took ecstasy, an illicit drug.
The Times report, which was published Thursday, cited several unnamed sources who said Gaetz paid women via cash apps. Sources told The Times the women said they were paid for sex. Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex and said that all of the allegations against him are false.
Two sources familiar with the alleged sexual encounters told The Times that some people involved, including Gaetz, used ecstasy beforehand.
But during his time in the Florida state legislature, Gaetz advocated for requiring recipients of public assistance to undergo and pass a drug test.
“I strongly support drug-testing for welfare recipients. Applying for welfare is voluntary, if you don’t want to get tested don’t apply,” Gaetz said in a tweet in March 2011. At the time, he was serving in the Florida House of Representatives.
—Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) March 24, 2011
In May 2011, the state legislature passed a bill that would’ve required state welfare recipients to submit to and pass a drug test in order to be eligible to receive benefits.
Gaetz was a supporter of the bill, which was signed into law by then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
However in October 2011, a federal judge blocked the bill, and it was eventually ruled unconstitutional for violating the ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. After an appeals process, the law was ultimately dismissed.
Gaetz was elected to US Congress in 2016 and became known as a loyal ally of former President Donald Trump.
According to The Times reporting, Gaetz used ecstasy at some point in 2019 or 2020, while he was serving in the House of Representatives. Members of Congress are not required to undergo drug testing, though some have tried to change that.
The Times latest report came on the heels of an explosive report released Tuesday that revealed the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and violated federal sex-trafficking laws. Gaetz denies the allegations, and the story has taken many turns since.