By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A former staff member for embattled Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz spoke to reporters Monday after FBI agents visited his home in connection to a federal investigation into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Former Military Affairs Director Nathan Nelson said the allegations against Gaetz are baseless.

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“They told me that members of the media reached out to them, asserting that I had previous knowledge of Congressman Gaetz involvement in illegal activities. They asserted that because of that knowledge, I resigned my position as the Director of Military Affairs. I’m here this morning to state that nothing could be farther from the truth. Neither I nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz staff had any knowledge of illegal activities,” said Nelson.

Nelson resigned his post on Friday, which sources said was done “out of principle.” Nelson said that’s simply not true.

“This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated and merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative.”

The Florida Republican has been in a swirl of controversies since news broke last week of a Department of Justice investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a teenager and potential violations of sex trafficking laws.

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The Gaetz investigation began during the Trump administration when William Barr was Attorney General. The Justice Department has focused on alleged cash payments Gaetz made to several women who later told others that it was in exchange for sex.

The congressman has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Gaetz contends that the allegations are part of an extortion plot against him.

Meantime, Gaetz wrote an op-ed piece that appeared Monday in the Washington Examiner in which he said he will not resign from Congress.

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Gaetz suggested he is being targeted by political foes because he “loathes the swamp.” Gaetz, 38, has been one of former President Donald Trump’s most loyal defenders. So far, Gaetz has received almost no public support from other congressional Republicans, and none from Trump. Team