(USA Features) Rep. Adam Kinzinger has become the first Republican to call for fellow GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz to resign amid allegations of sex trafficking and payoffs involving the Florida conservative.
“Matt Gaetz needs to resign,” Kinzinger, of Illinois, tweeted late Thursday along with a Daily Beast report claiming Gaetz used Venmo to pay an alleged sex trafficker $900 in 2018.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) April 9, 2021
The report notes further that the recipient, Joel Greenberg, then transferred sums of money totaling $900 to teen girls. Greenberg is reportedly looking to cop a plea with prosecutors while facing dozens of federal charges.
Gaetz has vehemently denied any wrongdoing especially when it comes to underaged girls.
Kinzinger has increasingly drawn the ire of conservatives for his opposition to former President Donald Trump and his vote to impeach the ex-president following the Capitol riot in January.
Trump, meanwhile, is reportedly set to support via his Save America PAC a primary challenger to Kinzinger next year.
As for the two lawmakers, they have engaged in a war of words in the past.
“All you have to do is see people like, of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene. You look at people like Matt Gaetz, who know better,” Kinzinger said recently after starting his own PAC to back Republican candidates also opposed to Trump. “I think neither of them believes the stuff they ascribe to, they just want the fame.”
“F**king bring it,” Gaetz, 38, wrote in response.
Two Gaetz staffers have resigned in recent weeks following the surfacing of allegations, first reported by The New York Times, which added that the Justice Department is investigating him as well.
But one of them, Nathan Nelson, who worked for Gaetz as his director of Military Affairs, has hit back against the allegations and has said his departure pre-planned ahead of time and had nothing to do with the current situation.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Nelson said, adding that his departure had been planned for weeks before the allegations surfaced.
Also, female staffers who work for Gaetz have come out in support of him.
“After the shocking allegations last week in the press, we, the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office, feel morally obligated to speak out,” the staffers said in a statement Thursday. “At no time has any one of us experienced or witnessed anything less than the utmost professionalism and respect. No hint of impropriety. No ounce of untruthfulness.”