Two women who chose to remain anonymous revealed some more details of what parties with Matt Gaetz were like.
Gaetz, the brash Republican, liked to discuss politics, said one of the women. He behaved like a “frat type of party boy,” she said, sometimes taking pills she believed were recreational drugs.
In the gated community in suburban Orlando, they said the first thing they were asked to do upon arrival at these house parties was to put their phones away. Those in attendance, a who’s who of local Republican officials that often included Rep. Matt Gaetz, did not want documentation.
The partygoers, at times dressed in formal wear from a political event they’d just left, mingled and shared drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. Some had sex.
After some parties, money would exchange hands. One woman said she received money from Joel Greenberg, and that sometimes the money was in exchange for sex, but she didn’t say who the sex was with. She also said she never received money directly from Gaetz.
The other woman said that some parties were informal gatherings at hotel suites following political functions. Champagne flowed. “No one ever wants to stop partying, stop drinking, once you’ve had a few glasses of champagne in you,” she said.
One of the women who spoke to CNN said she did so in part because the picture of Gaetz as potentially connected to sex trafficking that has emerged in recent days does not align with what she saw. Both women said that they never saw anyone at the parties who appeared to be underage. Neither has spoken with federal investigators, they said.
There is also more about that Bahamas trip in 2018, when Gaetz was a top advisor to then candidate for governor Ron DeSantis.
The Bahamas group took off out of Orlando on three separate flights. Most of the passengers, which included at least five young women, flew out of Orlando on two separate private planes. Matt Gaetz flew commercial. While there, Gaetz was joined by two GOP allies: Halsey Beshears, then a state legislator, and Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and Republican fundraiser for DeSantis, according to three sources, including one who was part of the group.
Also on the trip was the former minor in question in the investigation into sex trafficking. One woman on the trip said everyone there was over age 18, including the former minor. The woman’s date of birth is unconfirmed, but said to be born in December 1999.
No one on the trip engaged in prostitution, according to one woman, but on the return, U.S. Customs stopped to question the ages of the girls in the party. Three of them on Beshears’ flight looked so young that the party was briefly detained.
Joel Greenberg was absent from the Bahamas trip because of a conflict with Pirozzolo’s girlfriend.
Gaetz’s predicament as the subject of a serious investigation became clearer this winter when federal agents executed a search warrant and seized his iPhone, according to interviews with three people who were told of the matter by Gaetz, who changed his phone number in late December. Around that time, the sources said, federal agents also seized his former girlfriend’s phone before she went into work in the morning. She declined comment.