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Rep. Matt Gaetz

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) continues, federal authorities are now taking a more in-depth look at his infamous trip to the Bahamas.

According to CNN, sources with knowledge of the investigation have revealed prosecutors working for the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section are trying to determine whether or not the Florida lawmaker "took gifts, including travel and paid escorts, in exchange for political favors."

Investigators are now looking for evidence of "potential public corruption." Insiders also suggest that investigators are "scrutinizing Gaetz's connections to medical marijuana, both in terms of legislation he has sponsored and his connections to people involved in the industry, searching for so-called pay-to-play arrangements."

The Florida lawmaker has a reputation for advocating for medical marijuana and has supported a number of legislative actions in hope of passing the measure. The publication notes that one of Gaetz's close associates, Jason Pirozzolo, is a Florida doctor and founder of a medical cannabis advocacy group. In the past, he has also been described as a "marijuana investor." According to multiple reports, Pirozzolo is said to have traveled to the Bahamas with Gaetz.

The latest news comes as Gaetz faces an ongoing investigation into his alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girl. So far, multiple women have come forward with details about his alleged drug usage and wild parties. The Florida lawmaker's ally, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, is also at the center of the scandal, and remains under arrest while facing dozens of federal criminal charges.

Last summer, Greenberg was hit with those multiple charges when federal investigators arrested him on charges of stalking and child sex trafficking -- which opened the door for an investigative probe that subsequently uncovered details about his ties to Gaetz.

As of April 24, Gaetz and Pirozzolo have not been accused of crimes but the investigation is ongoing.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Donald Trump

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New details about the direct role that Donald Trump played in developing a strategy to overturn the 2020 election were revealed in a federal court filing from election coup attorney John Eastman late Thursday.

Eastman is several months into a battle to keep records of his work for Trump in the run-up to January 6 confidential. but in his latest parry to bar access to emails he says should be protected under attorney-client privilege, he has revealed that Trump sent him at least “two hand-written notes” containing information “he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation” challenging election results.

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