Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Friday he will not step down as he deals with allegations about paying a minor for sex.
Gaetz told The Hill that any rumors he plans to resign are “false,” adding that it is “very safe” to say he does not intend to leave his seat.
“Of course not,” the member added to The Wall Street Journal when asked if he was stepping down.
Gaetz’s lawyer also said he was not resigning.
The Florida representative’s chief of staff didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Luke Ball, Gaetz’s communications director, resigned this week.
“The Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz and Luke Ball have agreed that it would be best to part ways,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement to news outlets. “We thank him for his time in our office, and we wish him the best moving forward.”
Ball didn’t respond to an inquiry.
Gaetz, 38, is dealing with anonymously sourced reports that he’s under investigation for paying a minor girl for sex. He has vehemently denied the allegations, while asserting his family was victimized by an extortion attempt.
Documents published this week outline the apparent attempt, which revolved around trying to strongarm Gaetz’s father to pay $25 million that would be used to try to secure the release of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran over a decade ago and who is presumed dead.
The FBI declined to comment when reached by The Epoch Times, while the Department of Justice didn’t return an inquiry. Gaetz’s lawyer declined to comment.
The man Gaetz accused of orchestrating the extortion scheme, Florida attorney Don McGee, has denied the accusations.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the top Republican in the House of Representatives, said that Gaetz could lose his seat if the allegations prove to be true.
“If in fact these allegations are true, of course, being removed from the Judiciary Committee is the least that could be done. But again, I think, from what we’ve heard so far, this would be a matter for the Ethics Committee,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) added during a press call this week.