Federal elections authorities have seemingly slammed the door on baseless allegations implicating Rep. Matt Gaetz in sex trafficking, delivering a significant blow to his accusers.
According to a report from Newsmax, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has dismissed a complaint filed by Cris Dosev, a fellow Republican who twice challenged Gaetz for his congressional seat in the Panhandle. Dosev’s complaint centered on allegations that the Fort Walton Beach Republican had improperly utilized campaign funds to cover legal expenses linked to a 2020 Justice Department investigation related to sex trafficking allegations.
The Justice Department investigation, which concluded in February, failed to produce any charges against Gaetz, as there was no substantiated evidence to support claims that he had engaged in illicit activities with a 17-year-old girl, as initially asserted by an anonymous source. Throughout the ordeal, Gaetz steadfastly maintained his innocence.
A former associate of Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty in 2021 to trafficking a female minor to other adult men. However, investigators never uncovered any concrete evidence implicating Gaetz, and the case waned in significance when prosecutors deemed two key witnesses to lack credibility.
In August, Politico reported that the FEC, in a unanimous decision, discarded Dosev’s complaint. This verdict came after FEC staff attorneys scrutinized the available evidence and concluded that the approximately $200,000 in payments made by the campaign was used for campaign-related purposes, rather than benefiting Gaetz personally. Politico also noted that FEC lawyers affirmed Gaetz’s campaign was facing an investigation regarding the alleged misuse of campaign funds, and hiring legal counsel to address this issue was within the campaign’s rights.
Gaetz responded to the dismissal, highlighting Dosev’s track record of unsuccessful FEC complaints and election bids against him. He quipped, “Cris Dosev has lost every FEC complaint he has filed as a gadfly — and every election he has run in as a candidate, including two to me. Here’s hoping he finds less expensive, more productive hobbies for himself going forward.”