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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 and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Photo by The White House

A Maryland anti-vaxxer is facing charges for threatening National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci over email-- going as far as to warn the face of America's COVID-19 response that he would be "hunted, captured, tortured and killed," among other things-- according to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. committed two violations-- threatening a federal official and sending interstate communication containing a threat to harm, both of which are felonies.

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