Gates sex probe suddenly threatens Washington’s speedy rise

Washington (AP) — It didn’t cost compared to most parliamentary beginners Rep. Matt Gaetz It’s long. Call from the president. Ride the Air Force One. Hundreds of TV appearances. A loved one in a conservative circle.

But just four years after arriving in Washington as a lesser-known Republican state legislature from Salient in Florida, 38-year-old Donald Trump’s non-blushing defender said: Federal Sex Trafficking Survey..

Overwhelming reaction of Gates Republican colleagues — Deafening silence. It reflects the resentment he caused during his surge as one of the party’s celebrities and the challenges he faces to maintain his seat.

Government agencies are investigating whether Gates had sex with a 17-year-old or other underage girl and violated federal sex trafficking laws, people familiar with the investigation told AP. No charges have been filed, and Gates has denied the allegations.

However, due to the regular emergence of new harmful details, Gates’ political arc begins to resemble the myth of Icarus, who jumped into Earth after ignoring the warning that wax wings would melt if he was too close to the sun. I am.

In the coming days, we’ll test the crisis management skills of one of the most visible members of Congress’s younger generation, who say critics are more interested in promoting their brand than serious legislation.

“They are here to be infamous, here to appear at their base, and everything else that may come is secondary,” said Trump critic and former Republican Congressional aide. Doug Hay said. “And if you boo him, that’s great as far as you can see.”

Citizens United President David Bossy, who supports conservative causes and candidates, said Gates was “a conservative warrior who worked every day to make America great again and fight for President Trump’s agenda. I argued.

Gates’ Congress Twitter account is clearly Air Force One, covered with a photo of himself taking a selfie with Trump. Gates describes himself as a “Florida man” on his personal Twitter account. fiance. Firebrand. America First. He became engaged in Trump’s Marago Real Estate in Florida in December.

Gates is quick to estimate and looks a little older than college students. And, according to his own explanation, he hardly leads a thoughtful lifestyle while fighting for conservative purposes.

In his 2020 autobiographical book, Firebrand, Getz praised Trump as “a person who doesn’t care about pure grandstands and moral repairs.” Good thing. I am a representative, not a monk. “

Chris Ratvara, a former Republican colleague in the Florida state legislature, suggests that Gates went too far while he was there. On Friday, Latvala revived the 2020 tweet and accused Gates of creating “a game in which Florida legislators earned’points’ by sleeping with aides, internships, lobbyists, and married lawmakers.” did.

Latvala wrote on Friday, “I’m sorry that this guy might have sacrificed others, including minors, before others came forward to confirm it.” It was.

The game was also described by two other Florida Republicans. They spoke on condition of anonymity and clarified what the private problem was. Gates denied knowing about it.

Matt Gaetz, the son of a wealthy businessman and former president of the Florida Senate, Don Gaetz, has been conservative in the State Capitol for guns and other laws six years ago. I later attended Congress.

Just months after Gates arrived in Washington in 2017, when President Trump also took office, special adviser Robert Mueller began investigating Russia’s influence in Trump’s elections.

Gates took action to defend Trump and filed a resolution alleging fraudulent investigations aimed at resigning Mueller, essentially without stopping. His tenacity was noticed by Trump, who began calling young lawmakers.

The day before the House Hearing on the 2019 Russian Survey, Gates tweeted to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who was trying to testify with Trump on, “Do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriend?” ?? “The House Ethics Commission formally warned Gates of the tweet, but some considered it an attempted threat and he apologized.

Gates again a few months later when Trump began an impeachment investigation into Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to politically stain Democrat Joe Biden, who would eventually beat Trump in the elections. It was very noticeable.

Most notably, Gates led a group of House Republicans overtaking Parliamentary police officers into a secure underground parliament room where members of the House intelligence committee were asking witnesses. They caused a delay of several hours and had little effect on the probe, but they caught the attention of the press.

Gates was in the limelight in other ways as well. He took a white supremacist who questioned the Holocaust as a guest to Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address, later claiming he didn’t know the man’s view.

In March 2020, when the pandemic was well established, Gates wore a gas mask on the house floor. Critics have accused him of downplaying COVID-19, as Trump has repeatedly done, but Gates claimed he was calling attention to lawmakers’ vulnerability to the disease.

All the while, his visibility was increasing. According to Media Matters, a liberal group that oversees conservative media activity, Gates has appeared in 346 weekday cable news since August 2017.

As a result, Gates ranks second in Congress after Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, an ally of Trump and a ubiquitous television presence.

Throughout all that, Gates did not hesitate to criticize fellow Republicans.

In a 2020 tweet, he accused Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Barr (RN.C.) of using insider information to dump shares when the coronavirus pandemic began.

In the first chapter in Gates’ book, called “Sex and Money,” when he arrived in Congress, he sought a seat in the House of Representatives Military Commission from Republican Kevin McCarthy, the current leader of the House of Representatives minority. I wrote that. Gates wrote, “In my shock.” McCarthy has proposed donating $ 75,000 to the Republican House of Representatives campaign committee. The donations written by Gates have actually doubled.

In January of this year, Gates spearheaded efforts to dismiss Liz Cheney from his position as Republican leader after voting for Mr. Trump’s second accusation of 10 Republicans.

Gates also participated in a Wyoming campaign event, urging voters to oppose the 2022 reelection and accusing her of ignoring the “national will.” A few days later, Cheney was reelected to her leadership position.

All of that helped keep him away from many Republicans, some Republicans and aides said.

Among his only defenders this week was Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted. False violent emotions.

Getting deep support among colleagues can help confused lawmakers maintain their seats if the leader begins to take them accountable. Ominously, McCarthy calls the accusation against Gates “serious.”

Gates reportedly had no definitive discussions with Newsmax, a small Trump television station, about working for it and other networks. A person near Newsmax said on Friday that the network had no plans to hire him as a talent.


Associated Press writers Kurt Anderson of St. Petersburg, Florida, Brendan Farrington of Tallahassee, Florida, and Megkinard of Colombia, South Carolina, and Jill Corbin contributed to this report.

Posted on