- A former aide for Rep. Matt Gaetz said the sex trafficking allegations against him were "baseless."
- Nathaniel Nelson did not provide any evidence and also said he hadn't spoken to Gaetz in months.
- The DOJ is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2019.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
During a press conference on Monday, a former adviser for GOP rep. Matt Gaetz said sex-trafficking allegations surrounding the congressman are baseless but said he hadn't spoken with Gaetz in months.
Former Air Force Capt. Nathaniel Nelson, who served as Gaetz's director of military affairs, said he was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shortly after news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2019 and broke federal sex-trafficking laws.
Nelson said he was questioned about whether or not he knew of Gaetz's activity after members of the media tipped off the FBI that Nelson may have resigned because he knew about illegal activities.
"I'm here to state this morning that nothing could be further from the truth," Nelson said at the press conference in front of his home. "Neither I, nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz's staff had any knowledge of illegal activities."
Nelson also said the allegations were "baseless."
"This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated," he said.
Nelson said he already had pre-arranged plans to leave Gaetz in October 2020 to enter the private sector. However, the former aide did not provide any evidence against the allegations.
"I'm not here to provide any degree of evidence in support of Congressman Gaetz, only to discredit these baseless allegations," he said. "I don't have any specific knowledge on the investigation or any of the facts that are involved with the investigation."
He also added that he hasn't spoken with Gaetz for some time. "You know, I haven't had the opportunity to speak to Congressman Gaetz in several months," Nelson said.
In response to reports on Nelson's FBI questioning, Gaetz said on Twitter: "The FBI is literally running down false media rumors. They are investigating people, not crimes."
Gaetz's office did not reply to Insider's request for comment.
Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected]