The details of that September 2018 trip are sparse, but they are critical to the allegations against Gaetz, the Florida congressman currently the subject of a federal sex crimes investigation that is threatening his career.
Gaetz, who has not been charged, has consistently denied the two anonymous claims against him: that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for sex.
Gaetz's predicament as the subject of a serious investigation became clearer this winter when federal agents executed a search warrant and seized his iPhone, according to interviews with three people who were told of the matter by Gaetz, who changed his phone number in late December. Around that time, the sources said, federal agents also seized his former girlfriend's phone before she went into work in the morning. She declined to comment.