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Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doubled down Friday night, saying he's not "going anywhere," and vowing, "I have not yet begun to fight," amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

What he's saying: “I’m built for the battle, and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz, who denies the allegations, said during a Women for America First event at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

  • Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied allegations of being sexually involved with a 17-year-old and claims that he shared naked images of women with other Congress members.
  • He told Axios in an interview last month that the investigation is "rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million."
  • “The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life, to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories," Gaetz said Friday.
  • "I won’t be intimidated by the lying media, and I won’t be extorted by a former DOJ official and the crooks he is working with. The truth will prevail,” he added, speaking to The Women for America First group.

The big picture: The House Ethics Committee announced earlier Friday it has launched a probe into the Florida congressman.

  • The panel said it is aware of allegations that Gaetz "may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift."

Go deeper: GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger calls for Rep. Matt Gaetz to resign

Go deeper

House Ethics panel opens investigation into Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks during panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, in February 2021. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it has launched an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is facing a federal probe into sex trafficking allegations.

Driving the news: The panel said it is aware of allegations that Gaetz "may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift."

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger calls for Rep. Matt Gaetz to resign

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) late Thursday called for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to resign amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

Why it matters: Kinzinger is the first congressional Republican to publicly demand Gaetz step down. Gaetz has denied allegations of being sexually involved with a 17-year-old, telling Axios in an interview last month that the investigation is "rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million."

Gaetz associate negotiating plea deal in sex trafficking case

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) speaking at CPAC in February 2021 in Orlando. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joel Greenberg, an associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), is in plea negotiations after being charged with sex trafficking of a minor, according to his lawyer, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: A plea deal may indicate that Greenberg, a former tax collector in Seminole County, Florida, is open to cooperating with investigators by providing information though it's unknown how deep the negotiations are.

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