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A Former Lawmaker Claims That Matt Gaetz Fought Hard Against A Law That Would Criminalize People Sharing Sexually Explicit Images Of Ex-Lovers

The federal investigation into Matt Gaetz’s alleged violation of sex-trafficking laws (the mess that he apparently wished to be called “Gaetzgate”) continues, and the scandal keeps deepening. This has led to plenty of late-night fodder with John Oliver having a field day over Gaetz attempting to pull Tucker Carlson under the bus with him and Colin Jost roasting the hell out of the Republican congressman from Florida.

Last week, the matter already presented enough of a bad look in and of itself, and then outlets started pointing out that Gaetz was the only lawmaker (Republican or Democrat) who had voted against a 2017 anti-sex trafficking bill. Now, the Orlando Sun-Sentinel is reporting word from a former lawmaker who served alongside Gaetz in the Florida Legislature. Via the publication, Rep. Tom Goodson (also a Republican) worked for three years on a bill against so-called “revenge porn” to criminalize the act of sharing ex-lovers’ sexually explicit images, effectually making them nonconsensual pornography. Goodson says that Gaetz opposed the bill because he believed that people who receive those images should be able to freely share them. Oh boy:

“Matt was absolutely against it. He thought the picture was his to do with what he wanted,” Goodson said. “He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted to, as an expression of his rights.”

Goodson told the Sun-Sentinel that Gaetz, in fact was the “chief opponent” to the bill, and the embattled congressman even spoke out in a meeting to declare that intimate images sent to partners “becomes the partner’s property to use however they want.” None of this is presenting a good look in retrospect, especially since Gaetz is already being (as originally reported by the New York Times) probed by the DOJ as to whether he violated sex trafficking laws while romantically involved with a 17-year-old girl, and since he allegedly paid for the girl to travel with him, he could be on the hook for federal crimes. Gaetz has denied those allegations and claimed in a bizarre interview with Tucker Carlson that he’s a victim of extortion (for $25 million) by a former DOJ official.

(Via Orlando Sun-Sentinel)

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